This month, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights released a list of colleges being investigated for possible Title IX violations concerning how they handled complaints of sexual violence and harassment. Most of us are familiar with Title IX's provisions for equal opportunities for women within college athletics, but the law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program that receives federal funding, also has requirements for the handling of incidents of sexual violence. The list released this month is – as the Department of Education puts it – "the first comprehensive look at which campuses are under review." Among those campuses are at least two Texas schools – Southern Methodist University and The University of Texas Pan-American.
On this edition of Houston Matters, we examine universities' responsibilities in handling sexual assault claims, how officials proceed with such investigations, what resources are available for Houston-area students, and the general attitude towards sexual assault on college campuses. We welcome your questions for representatives of Sam Houston State University and the University of Houston, and the Houston Area Women’s Center.
Also this hour: Houston is home to 94 foreign consulates. Only New York and Los Angeles have more. But just what do Consuls-General and their staffs do? We find out as we talk with the Houston-based Consuls-General of Great Britain and Norway.
Plus: A conversation with Chef Chris Shepherd from the restaurant Underbelly, who recently won the 2014 James Beard Foundation Award for best chef in the southwest. (The southwest region, in this case, includes Texas, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah). He’s the first Beard Award winner in Houston since 1992. We discuss the significance of the award, not just for him, but for what it may signal about growing recognition nationwide of Houston’s restaurant scene.