New Director of Equity and Title IX hired at Muhlenberg

Jennifer Storm was carefully selected to take on this role at ‘Berg.

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It was announced by Dean of Students Allison Williams on Nov. 11 that the College would be welcoming a new staff member to its community as Director of Equity and Title IX. The announcement touted Jennifer Storm’s academic credentials stating that “Jennifer holds a BS [Bachelor’s of Science] in rehabilitation education, a master’s degree in organizational management, and completed a certificate in Human Resources Dispute Management and Resolution through Cornell University.”  

On Nov. 29, Storm took over the position. Storm’s work in the field spans many positions. She noted that her “entire life has been dedicated to giving [a] voice to the voiceless. So, whether that’s been through victim advocacy, victim-offender dialogue, creating restorative justice practices for those who have been harmed through crime and those who have harmed others through crime. I’ve been doing this work.”

She also stressed her own personal experiences and connections to her new role stating, “Personally, I bring a lot of lived experience into the position, not just as a survivor of sexual violence myself but also as someone in long-term recovery. So, I’ve been on the other side of the juvenile justice system.”

Selecting an equipped and capable replacement proved to be a big task for Williams. She emphasized this saying, “We began our search in August, by recruiting nationally across the country through various higher education venues. We also formed a search committee made up of faculty, staff and a student representative to assist with the full process.” Williams and the committee came to a unanimous consensus that Storm was the strongest candidate and the right fit for the job. 

“[My] entire life has been dedicated to giving [a] voice to the voiceless. So, whether that’s been through victim advocacy, victim-offender dialogue, creating restorative justice practices for those who have been harmed through crime and those who have harmed others through crime. I’ve been doing this work.”

Storm’s role would cover legislation outlined in Title VII, Title IX and Muhlenberg’s specific Equal Opportunity policy. These guidelines “govern our behavior with regard to harassment, discrimination and sexual and gender-based misconduct,” according to Williams. Storm described the differences between Title VII and IX saying “Title VII is going to protect anyone who falls under those legally protected classes [including] your race, your ethnicity, your religion [and] your sex… [Title IX states that] if you receive money from the federal government then you are not allowed… to engage in behavior that would rise to sexual harrasment [or] sexual discrimination.”

Storm will serve as a multifaceted resource for the student body and faculty members. Williams outlined Storm’s responsibilities stating that she will “oversee the implementation of our Equal Opportunity Policy and ensure that it is in compliance with state and federal law and aligns with the most effective practices on college campuses when it comes to creating an environment free of harassment, discrimination and sexual violence.”

Storm expressed that she views herself as a resource for students who have questions or desire training in regards to equity policies. Her office will be a safe environment where individuals can file harassment complaints and understand their legal rights. Storm emphasized that she primarily wants to be seen as an outlet for empowerment among students. “What I hope is that we can be an empowerment source to educate [the students] on [the idea that] they have the right to be on-campus free from harm and harassment and violence.” 

An open-door policy will be implemented in Storm’s office as well as in-person and virtual office hours. She envisions her office to be “seen as a very friendly open door to come forth with questions [and] inquiries.” 

Williams gave a firm stamp of approval for Storm stating, “Jennifer is going to be an amazing resource related specifically to sexual and gender-based violence, harassment, discrimination, identity-based harm, health relationships, sexual health, policy clarification, etc.”

Storm will be especially connected to Muhlenberg’s Voices of Strength (VOS) organization. VOS’s mission is to promote a safe campus environment in which students are free from sexual violence. Member Emily Orlich ‘24 expressed their opinion on ‘Berg’s recent hire saying, “From what I’ve heard about her I believe that Jennifer Storm will be an amazing Director of Equity and Title IX. She has extensive experience in areas that will make her prepared for the job. I am very confident that she will be great!”

“Jennifer is going to be an amazing resource related specifically to sexual and gender-based violence, harassment, discrimination, identity-based harm, health relationships, sexual health, policy clarification, etc.”

Chrissy Nagrowski ‘22 expressed similar sentiments saying, “I am super excited for Jennifer Storm to be hired for the job! I think she has [done] an amazing amount of advocacy work on behalf of survivors of sexual assault. She has years of experience with restorative justice practices, which is something Muhlenberg really needs right now. It is so important to have a person in this position who is dedicated to doing what is best for the survivor. She can really have a positive impact on the school going forward dealing with Title IX cases. She’s made a real effort to make herself available to VOS and has made a super great first impression.”

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