By Mike Kruzman /

A roundtable discussion co-hosted by 8th District Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin discussed coming changes to Title IX and what it means for students who are survivors of sexual abuse.

The Democratic Women’s Caucus held the event over Facebook Live, Monday. Joining Slotkin were Representatives from across the county, along with survivors and advocates against forthcoming changes to Title IX in August. That’s when Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ rules go into effect, which the roundtable sees as a rolling back of protections for student survivors of sexual violence.

One aspect of the new regulation is that for a Title IX claim to be made, the alleged crime will have to take place on campus. Slotkin introduced Amanda Thomashow, who was the first survivor to make a claim against former-MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar, to the roundtable. She asked her to describe how the new rules would have affected her case, which inspired hundreds of others to also come forward. Thomashow said she was sexually assaulted as an MSU student, by an MSU doctor, in a building that said “MSU” on it, but was across the street from campus. She said she could see the campus, and hear football going on from the office, but because she was not technically on MSU’s campus, she would not have been able to file a Title IX complaint.

Another of the changes requires the accuser to face cross-examination. Chanel Miller, who is a survivor and the author of Know My Name, told the round table that when she was cross-examined, the defense attorneys tried all they could to manipulate and contort her into giving answers that fit their narrative. She called the process punishing and destructive, and that she would enter the courtroom feeling fairly intact, and emerge completely disoriented.

Those in support of new Title IX regulations believe that it sets a higher burden of proof and cuts back on false allegations. Supporters claim Obama-era guidance caused colleges to over enforce allegations which led to students being unjustly removed from campuses. California Representative Jackie Speier led the roundtable discussion, disagreeing. She called the new legislation a horrific rule that takes us back 30 years.

The roundtable in its entirety can be found on Congresswoman Slotkin’s Facebook page.