New Title IX Coordinator comes to UAlbany
By Janie Frank
March 10, 2015
Chantelle Cleary is a self-proclaimed woman of many hats. As the University at Albany’s Title IX Coordinator, Cleary acts as an investigator, an educator, and a preventer.
She is responsible for investigating any possible cases of sexual assault, ensuring that investigations are fair and prompt, teaching others about their obligations and rights, assisting in various prevention methods, hosting educational programs for both students and faculty members, and assisting victims to get them any help they may need.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 was originally created to prevent discrimination due to a person’s sex. It has since grown to include various issues involving sexual assault on and around college campuses.
All schools receiving federal financial assistance are required to have one person designated towards preventing and informing both students and faculty members about sexual assault, according to notalone.gov, a website devoted to information about sexual assault on college campuses.
“A school’s Title IX Coordinator or Coordinators are expected to play a critical role in helping a school ensure that every person affected by its operations—including faculty, staff, and students—are aware of their legal rights under Title IX,” the webpage says.
Although she has only been in office for less than two months, Cleary hopes to do just that.
“The University at Albany is already ahead of the curve,” she said, referring to programs such as the Advocacy Center for Sexual Violence that reach out to victims of sexual assault and inform others about the issue. “But we should always try to be better. We need to ensure that we continue to be better.”
Cleary was a Special Victims prosecutor before coming to UAlbany.
“I loved my job,” she said.
She worked to stop prostitution rings, sex crimes, and sexual assault against children as well as many other illegal actions in the area.
One thing she was always concerned with was the prevention of sex crimes. While working as a Special Victims prosecutor, Cleary was also a R.A.D. instructor, or a Rape Aggression Defense instructor.
“I loved it because I had the ability to prevent,” she said of R.A.D.
Due to the nature of her job, she had to deal with sex crimes committed against children very often. She felt as though it started to affect her emotionally and realized she needed to leave.
Now, she works with UAlbany students and faculty members.
“I want to have a good relationship with the student body,” she said. “I want us to learn from each other.”
As Title IX Coordinator, Cleary works with the police. The University Police Department must report all allegations regarding sexual assault to her. Both will have their own investigations, but the two have different goals.
“The police have a goal of finding out if the crime was committed,” she said. “I’m more concerned with stopping the behavior, prevention, and remedying the effects.”
The so-called remedies vary from situation to situation.
“Remedies can be broad,” she said. “Sometimes the victims will receive services, we will help them get a no contact order. Other times we work with the witnesses and those affected.”
Cleary and those who work for her will check in with witnesses and victims to see how they are doing both physically and mentally.
If you or someone you know is dealing with any issues regarding sexual assault, Cleary can be contacted at [email protected] You can also contact the university’s Advocacy Center, located on Indian Quad in Suite 009 of the basement of Seneca Hall, by walking in or calling (518) 442-CARE (2273).