Joel Aure: A Title IX Coordinator We Can Believe In
Tucked away in his Palamountain office, is Joel Aure—the new Title IX Coordinator of Skidmore College. After his experiences as the Chief Diversity Officer, Affirmative Action Officer, and the Title IX Coordinator at Purchase College, Aure is ready to make an impact upon the Skidmore community.
Although the transition entails a lot of work, Aure is excited to be on campus. Everyone he has met has been enthusiastic and friendly to him, he told The Skidmore News.
Aure’s decision to come to Skidmore was an easy decision because he felt that Skidmore was a “special place.” He described the community as “very tightknit.” He also mentioned how he “wanted to consider [Skidmore] in the realm of Title IX, and what I could accomplish, and I think there is a strong foundation that’s already here.”
So what exactly does Aure want to accomplish? His goal is to eradicate sexual assault and gender misconduct from campus completely. He recognizes that this seems like an impossible goal, but he defends his position:
“I know that sounds ambitious if not naive, right? But one would have to ask yourself, if you’re a Title IX Coordinator and that’s not your primary goal, what is? As broad and as ambitious of a goal as that may seem, working towards that, having that as your compass or your north star really helps the day to day decisions.”
Aure plans to accomplish this ambitious goal by helping to create a better “cultural understanding and possibly cultural shift in terms of how we talk about not just about sexual and interpersonal violence and sex and gender-based misconduct, but also in terms of the ability to have conversations about this in terms of prevention, in terms of response.”
Changing a culture is not an easy task, but Aure is looking at it through the lens of how we have achieved cultural shifts in the past. He explained how an individual could help this process by comparing it to the concept of a “DD,” or Designated Driver. A designated driver is not a mandated position. Rather, it is the result of a group of responsible people who do not want to get in trouble or get hurt, and have made a collective decision to elect one person to be sober for the night. In the same vein, Aure explained how he realized we could take that same kind of thinking and apply it to bystander intervention.
“What if we were more intentional about that and had a designated preventer?” In other words, he wants to create more “strategically placed and aware bystanders.”
Aure is looking to apply this idea to Fun Day, acknowledging that it is a big day of partying. He wants to see if students would be willing to take on such a role at Fun Day. Who is he looking for? Someone who would not have to sacrifice “their fun day by any means, but also having this expectation that students will go out of their way to protect each other.”
He also wants to make sure that students know they can come to him to invite him to speak at club meetings, answer questions, and spread awareness. Basically, Aure wants to make sure students know that he is accessible.
Aure knows that change is hard, and his job is not going to be easy.
“Considering sort of case by case, the day to day, the strategic, financial, and emotional, trying to navigate all of that can be difficult, but at the same time, as I alluded to before, believing in the job goes a long way towards helping you navigate that.”
And he definitely believes in it.
If you want to contact Joel Aure, his contact information is: Palamountain Hall: Room 434, firstname.lastname@example.org, 518-580-5708.
In case you think you yourself have been a victim of sexual and gender-based conduct, find out more about the definition and who can help here: https://www.skidmore.edu/sgbm/documents/You-Have-Options.pdf