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Athletics: Then and Now
Prior to the passing of Title IX in 1972, girls and women were allowed to participate in only a few physical activities, such as dance and cheerleading.1 An estimated, 1 in 27 girls played high school sports.2 College scholarships for female athletes were non-existent, and female college athletes only received 2% of the total budget for athletics.1
Male and Female Participation in College Sports, 1972-2011
The objective of the Title IX bill was to regulate gender equity on many different levels such as sexual harassment, career guidance, parental status, and specifically in education and federally funded activities.2 However, it’s impact on collegiate sports in particular has been especially noteworthy and has gained nationwide media attention. For OSU in particular, the university has nine women's athletic teams that participate in the Pac-10 Conference compared to the seven for men's athletics, as reported in 2009.
Not only has Title IX allowed female athletes to participate in sports without discrimination and paved the way for the success of collegiate women’s sports teams, it has also provided women with more opportunities to compete at elite levels through competitions, such as the Olympics, World Championships, and professional leagues. Women have come a long way in sports at OSU since Title IX, and they have been able to keep moving forward.
Marianne Vydra, current Senior Associate Athletic Director and member of the Senior Staff strategic planning group, plays an eminent role in Athletics. As the Senior Women's Administrator, Marianne is the highest ranking female involved with the management of Oregon State University's Intercollegiate Athletics program and represents OSU on governance issues associated with the Pacific-10 Conference and the NCAA. She has also established two endowed scholarships for female student-athletes.
Title IX Celebration at OSU
In celebration of the 40th year anniversary of Title IX, OSU’s department of athletics hosted the Parade of Champions Dinner this fall 2012 at the Club Level of Reser Stadium, attendees of which included current female athletes as well as OSU alumni who have since become Olympians, national champions and All-American athletes. This event exemplified a powerful, multi-generational union of female athletes, who were able to discuss experiences from past to present, to inspire future initiatives, and to celebrate the tremendous impact of Title IX.
1Athletics Under Title IX. (2012). Retrieved from Title IX Info: http://www.titleix.info/Default.aspx
2National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education (NCWGE). Title IX at 40: Working to Ensure Gender Equity in Education. Washington, DC: NCWGE,2012.