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The Simpsonian

Administration to investigate inequality after editorial

by Laura Wiersema, Editor-in-Chief

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Within hours of the publication of Mandy Brown’s editorial to The Simpsonian, Simpson College President Jay Simmons issued a statement saying the school will be investigating allegations of gender-based discrimination.

Brown’s editorial discussed discrepancies between the men’s and women’s track teams, citing examples of sexism from members of the women’s team.

“Other female athletes have been the butt of sexist innuendos and jokes from coaches and male athletes. Other women have been kicked out of practice, and later chastised, when they advocated for their own health and bodies,” Brown wrote.

In his statement, Simmons reminded students that Simpson College adheres to Title IX’s requirements to provide equally to everyone, free of gender-based discrimination, both in the classroom and out.

“First and foremost, I want to assure you that any type of behavior like this will not be tolerated on Simpson’s campus,” Simmons said.

At the writing of the statement, Athletic Director Brian Niemuth had met with the track staff and coaches to gather more information and discuss the issue. With the women’s track team competing in Des Moines at Drake University until Saturday and Easter the following day, Title IX Coordinator Rich Ramos and Niemuth decided to meet with them on Monday to allow the women to openly voice their concerns.

Ramos also reached out to Brown in hopes of better understanding the situations described in her editorial.

“We will continue to investigate this situation and work to remedy areas that may be contributing to any sort of hostile environment for our female athletes,” Simmons said.

In a more recent statement by Simmons, he said Ramos and Deputy Title IX Coordinator Lana Smith have met separately with the women’s and men’s track teams to address the issue and continue to hold private meetings with concerned individuals.

When all meetings have concluded, Simmons said the school will give recommendations for the school’s next steps. Simmons also confirmed that track strength and conditioning coach Josh Diehm is no longer employed by Simpson.

If anyone has questions or concerns, Simmons encouraged them to contact him. He also encouraged anyone in the community who is aware of other situations that conflict with the school’s values to bring them to the administration’s attention.

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