As we approach the middle of the semester, thoughts are often torn between two things. Mid-terms and spring break. Most dread the first and can’t wait for the second; however, both signify another step towards graduation and (hopefully) starting a new career. In the far nearer future, the snow begins to melt and we start to think of warm days filled with sunshine, barbeque, and sports.
Since March is Women’s History Month, I thought a little history would be good to reflect upon. This year marks 41 years since Title IX was signed into law under the Equal Opportunity in Education Act, which states “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…” For those unfamiliar with what this means, it was the first real step to putting women’s collegiate sports on the map. This meant that not only would women’s sports get similar funding for uniforms and equipment like men’s sports, more importantly it meant scholarships.
While this might not seem like a big deal to some, it certainly has been for others. I am reminded of Lolo Jones, the Olympic Hurdler, who grew up in Des Moines Iowa, who was routinely homeless as her mother tried to provide for her and her four siblings. In an interview with her I recently saw, she said that by the time she was 12, she was a professional shoplifter. Not because she wanted attention or luxury, but because she simply wanted to stop being hungry. In high school she excelled at Track and Field, she was able to attend LSU on a Track & Field Scholarship and finally get out of poverty. The same can be said many times over, for both men and women.
So join us, if you will, in celebrating Women’s history month and women’s sports! Title IX has helped many prominent figures attain their dreams and given another way to break the cycle of poverty.
By Tim Potter, BUSN200 Student Facilitator