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New app makes Title IX policies accessible to students
Although not many students are aware of the university’s Title IX policies, which currently can be found on the Quinnipiac University website, a new app called Reach Out will make access to those policies much easier.
The Reach Out app is free and available for all undergraduate students to download on their smartphones.
“The purpose is to connect students with the information the university has been trying to provide to them about sexual misconduct policies,” Associate Vice President of Operations Terri Johnson said.
Johnson said it is important for students to have information related to the university’s Title IX policies at their fingertips.
“This is in the phone, so a student will have this if and when they need it. So you have campus resources, policies, reporting options and advocacy,” Johnson said. “I work closely with the sexual assault advocate, as well as the domestic violence advocate, so they are listed specifically, plus other contacts.”
Other contacts accessible through the app include both local and national hotlines for assault and discrimination.
Johnson explained the thinking behind having an app for students to access this information.
“The ease and accessibility is exactly why it was designed,” Johnson said. “Most campuses have the information up on their websites, but it’s not always in the format a student would prefer to have it or find it easy.”
Henry Sahn, a Quinnipiac graduate, feels that having an app could help spread knowledge about Title IX policies.
“An app is good because I feel like nobody really knows about Title IX,” Sahn said. “[Title IX] was a big thing when I was in sophomore year of college. I only knew about it because of sports and residential life, but I couldn’t really tell you one thing about it.”
Freshman business management major Jack Crowley also felt that having the information available to students right on their smartphones can be beneficial.
“I think it could be very useful for students… I think [students] can benefit from [having information available in an app],” Crowley said.
Johnson said providing an app that students can easily access was the primary goal of the company that created Reach Out.
“Capptivation, the company that created this… their purpose was to put [the information] in the hands of students in a user-friendly manner,” Johnson said.
Officials from Quinnipiac were impressed with the new app upon having demos presented to them.
“We really liked it. We met with one of the founders of Capptivation; he came out and gave a demo last semester, and every single thing seemed ideal in helping our students get the information [about Title IX policies],” Johnson said.
However, Johnson explained that the app had more tests to pass through before its release.
“We did a small demo and there were no flaws, so we rolled it out to faculty and there were still no flaws. So we are going to roll it out to students,” Johnson said.
Johnson explained that the university’s goal is to both spread knowledge about Title IX, as well as encourage students to take action against gender-based discrimination of any kind.
“The hope would be more student engagement,” Johnson said. “The information has been up [on the website] for a while. In as many venues and ways as possible, we continue to push this information out [to students].”
Johnson also said the students using the app will never be asked to identify themselves.
Sophomore history major Alice Valley feels that the app can offer numerous benefits to Quinnipiac students.
“I think it gives transparency [to students]. You don’t have to go off and wait for an appointment and wait for people who are going to tell you what it is,” Valley said. “You get to see what the policies are, what your rights are and you don’t have to go through someone who could be lying to you.”