BY KELLY NORTH
East Stroudsburg University (ESU) students are invited to attend “A Day with Bernice Sandler: A Pioneer in the Women’s Movement.” On Monday, April 29, Bernice Sandler will visit ESU to speak on her extensive work in the development of Title IX.
Sandler is a women’s right activist who used the executive order to fight for her job at the University of Maryland in 1969, where she was rejected for a tenure-track job. When she continued to apply for jobs, she got frequent rejections, including one in which she was told that she was simply a housewife who went back to school.
She showed university statistics to display how female employment at the university had dramatically declined as qualified women were replaced by men. Following the complaints against the University of Maryland, Sandler, in conjunction with the National Organization of Women (NOW) and the Women’s Equity Action League (WEAL), filed about 269 complaints against other colleges and universities.
Sandler then joined the Education and Labor Committee and sat in on the congressional hearings where women’s rights were discussed. At the hearings, Sandler and Representative Edith Green proposed Title IX.
As part of the fight to pass Title IX, Sandler became the first person to testify to the U.S. Congress about gender discrimination in education. As a result of all of her efforts to confront the issues of gender inequality in education, Sandler was appointed to chair the first federal Advisory Committee on Women’s Educational Equity in 1975.
Title IX was signed into law on June 23, 1972 by President Richard Nixon.
Sandler has written and published numerous works involving sexual harassment, peer harassment, campus gang rape, the status of women faculty of color, and the first report on sex discrimination in college athletics.
Sandler has 14 honorary doctorates and numerous other awards. She received the Century of Women Special Achievement Award from the Turner Broadcasting System and was inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010.
She is a Senior Scholar at the Women’s Research and Education Institute in Washington, DC, where she consults with institutions and others about achieving equality for women and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Drexel University College of Medicine. She has given over 2,500 presentations on issues concerning faculty recruitment, hiring, retention, promotions, tenure, and strategies.
Sandler has written more than 100 articles and is well-known for her expertise in women’s educational equality in general. She also often serves as an expert witness in discrimination and sexual harassment cases.
She was recently selected to be included in the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Sandler’s presentation will take place in four sessions. The first session, titled “The Life of Women in Higher Education: Reflections of a Pioneer in the Women’s Movement.” It will be held in the Keystone Room at 1 PM until 2 PM. The session will give the ESU community the opportunity to ask Dr. Sandler questions about her experiences as a pioneer in the women’s movement.
The next session is titled, “Student-to-Student Sexual Harassment, Sexual Assault and Sexual Bullying,” and will give the ESU community the opportunity to hear Dr. Sandler speak about her extensive practical research in the area of sexual harassment. The session is open to students, faculty, staff, and administrators, and will be geared towards those in student affairs, academic affairs, and intercollegiate athletics. The session will be held in the Keystone Room from 3 PM until 4 PM.
The last session will be held in Abeloff from 7 PM until 8:30 PM. Titled, “Title IX: The Untold Story of Sex Discrimination in Higher Education,” the session will provide a forum for Dr. Sandler to discuss the trials and tribulations that she faced as she struggled for the passage of Title IX. This session is open to the ESU and local community free of charge.
Sandler’s appearance on campus is presented by The Department of Academic Enrichment and Learning and The Women’s Studies Program in partnership with The Office of the Provost, The College of Business Management, The College of Education, The College of Health Sciences, The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, The Department of Sports Management, The Department of Movement Activities and Lifetime fitness, The Office of Diversity, and The Office of Residence Life.
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