Getting to know Whitman’s new Title IX coordinator Cassandre Beccai

Ansley Peard, News Writer

Cassandre Beccai is joining the office of  Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from Walla Walla University. Contributed Photo by Cassandre Beccai.

On Feb. 16, 2022, Cassandre Beccai joined the Whitman Division of Diversity and Inclusion as the new Director for Equity and Compliance and Title IX Coordinator. 

The Title IX Office at Whitman College seeks to provide an environment for students that is free from sex or gender-based harassment, discrimination and violence. The role of a Title IX Coordinator is to manage reports of sexual misconduct and provide support to affected students including arranging safe housing, negotiating academic accommodations and reffering students to helpful resources available on and off campus.

Beccai has prior experience in the field from her previous position as Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Specialist and Title IX Coordinator at Walla Walla University and has a background in sociology. 

In an interview with The Wire, Beccai discusses her goals for Whitman.

The Wire: What drew you to apply for the role as Director for Equity and Compliance/Title IX Coordinator at Whitman?

Beccai: I am instinctively drawn to opportunities to exercise and expand my skill set, however, the intentionality around DEIA work at Whitman College was what was most compelling about this opportunity.

The Wire: What are your goals as Title IX Coordinator? How do you hope to combat sexual harassment, discrimination and sexual misconduct on campus?

Beccai: My goal at this time is to listen carefully to various stakeholders including students, faculty and staff to develop an understanding of Title IX’s unique positioning here. I have been learning about Whitman College’s focus on prevention education and hope to continue that legacy to address the threat of sexual harassment, discrimination and misconduct. 

The Wire: What kinds of programs do you plan on implementing? In the past, Whitman utilized Green Dot, an intervention program designed to prevent sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence. Do you expect to initiate programs similar to Green Dot?

Beccai: It is hard for me to say what programs I plan on implementing given my limited tenure here. I am having meaningful conversations that I believe will help me to conceptualize the strengths in our practice and determine where there is room for programing that will push us towards our goal of a more equitable campus, free of sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence. 

The Wire: What skills, expertise, and experiences do you bring to the role of Title IX Coordinator?

Beccai: I have been an Equity Specialist and Title IX Coordinator at a University for a few years and I am certain my experience and training have equipped me for this role. 

The Wire: What challenges do you anticipate to encounter as the new Title IX Coordinator?

Beccai: The application of Title IX looks slightly different from campus to campus and it will take me some time to learn its application at Whitman College. As I continue to study our processes and communicate with stakeholders, I will be able to conceptualize the strengths in our practice, build upon what is effective and determine where there is room for improvement.