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HomeEducationTrinity College Female Athletes See Through Title IX Audit, Optimistic for Change

Trinity College Female Athletes See Through Title IX Audit, Optimistic for Change

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The field hockey team, and other female athletes on campus, took a stand. Their persistence resulted in a full Title IX audit of the athletic programs.

In the fall of 2021, the Trinity College field hockey team asked a basic question: where are the new bleachers?

They were confused, the football field improvements were complete as expected: new seating, new press box, among other upgrades. Their side of the athletic complex and the planned facility improvements, never even started.

But the field hockey team, and soon other female athletes on campus, took a stand. Their persistence resulting in a full Title IX audit of the athletic programs.

“That comprehensive process certainly took a long time,” said Trinity Athletic Director Drew Galbraith. “It really gives us a roadmap where we understand not only where we are now, but where we will continue to go.”

Following a year of comprehensive interviews and investigation, the school released a five-page summary of the findings. Female athletes finally had written proof of what they’d been saying all along: the school had some work to do to meet Title IX requirements in athletics.

“For us as athletes, it was trying to respect the time that it does take to [do the audit] but then also trying to keep the pressure on,” said Trinity senior Emlyn Patry, who founded TrinWAL, the Trinity Women’s Athletic League in 2021.

First, there’s the plan for Robin L Sheppard field – by August 2023, it will have the seating and press box the athletes expected to see in the fall of 2021.

That’s just the start. The audit also identified the softball field as a place for improvement. While the baseball stadium has ample seating, lighting and a press box, the softball field has none of that. There’s a plan in place for improvements through 2025.

The athletes who led this charge will graduate before they see any of that, but said it’s the things they can’t see that make it well worth the effort.

“It wasn’t about us,” Patry said. “You’re not needy, you’re not annoying… the culture is so deep-rooted, and it starts from the top of administration all the way down.”

It is a fight all too familiar to female athletes – applying the pressure to get equitable facilities to the men’s teams.

“Their advert efforts and advocacy made a difference,” Galbraith said. “That will be reflected in the facilities that are out there for really forever and then also in the way in which students are treated here, that will always point back to them.”

The fact remains that this is a conversation that could happen on just about any college campus. Female athletes often have to advocate for themselves while maintaining a full course load and training schedule.

Patry said she wants to see Title IX compliance become a regular conversation in athletics at the start of each school year. She hopes that if both women and men are better educated, then situations like this will be fewer and far between.

“It takes a lot of time and commitment and passion,” Patry said. “But hopefully it can be an example for future generations of women.”

Source: NBC CT

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