Title IX admin candidate Hayes emphasized training, education

Hayes said her experience as an assistant prosecuting attorney would serve her well as the Title IX administrator.

After spending seven years as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Boone County, Andrea Hayes is seeking the Title IX administrator post at MU, a position for which she is the second of four final candidates.

Hayes went on to say that although she is passionate about her current work as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Boone County, she views the new position at MU as a chance for personal growth and a way to challenge herself.

“I’m always at the end of punishment,” she said. “Let’s be on the end of some prevention.”

Hayes said her previous experience and investigative skills are transferable tools she could use in the new position.

“I will use the skills and the training that I have and be able to make myself an excellent Title IX administrator,” Hayes said.

Hayes said she plans to investigate cases similarly to how she does now — by keeping an open mind throughout the process and investigating evidence thoroughly.

Hayes acknowledges this position would come with a significant amount of pressure, and said she’s already had experience with the pressure of making difficult decisions, such as prosecuting well-known athletes.

As the Title IX Administrator, Hayes would focus on educating both faculty and the student body on the subject through forums and open dialogue. She said she would require all staff members to complete Title IX training.

Additionally, Hayes said she plans to use orientation as a time to educate new students about Title IX policies and campus resources.

Hayes said she also plans to host forums where students can express their concerns and learn about Title IX issues to educate and engage students. She said she is currently unsure how she will get students interested in attending these forums, but will try various tactics like offering food or making an event mandatory for certain campus organizations.

Hayes said Title IX education would cover everything from defining consent to reporting incidents. Hayes said her goal as the Title IX administrator would be to educate every student on campus within her first year.

“It’s surprising to me ... that people commit (crimes) that they’re not even aware that they’re committing,” she said.

Hayes said alcohol is the number one problem she sees when dealing with these cases, by hosting forums where she would present daunting statistics and bring in survivors to share their testimonies.

Hayes said while she does not blame the victims for incidents, she believes there are ways to stay safe, such as not excessively drinking when going out with peers.

Because statistics show many more sexual assaults take place than are reported, Hayes said she hopes the number of incidents reported increases with the new Title IX administrator.

“If we do this and we do it right, I think that we’re going to see the reports go up, and the reason that the reports will go up is not because more (incidents) are happening, but because more people are actually reporting it,” she said.

She said she would try to provide students with an environment in which they feel safe and welcome reporting Title IX incidents. She intends to keep the process assessable yet private.

Hayes’s open forum follows the forum held for Joe Gilgour yesterday. Two other candidates will visit campus for open forums on Dec. 17 and 18.

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