Heard on the Hill: University of Delaware Title IX issue is similar to KU’s; Snyder book collecting contest winners announced; Stop Day walking tour set for May 13

Your daily dose of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• KU recently got a mention in the New York Times for being one of the first programs to deal with a Title IX complaint discriminating against men. This came up after the University of Delaware’s decision to demote its men’s track and field teams to club status.

This issue flared up at KU before it hit the national stage when former Olympic swimmer Ron Neugent filed a Title IX complaint against Kansas Athletics alleging it discriminated against men.

To meet Title IX requirements, a university may meet any one of these three tests by showing it:

• Is providing athletic opportunities for men and women at a rate substantially proportional to the enrollment rates of men and women.

• Has a continuing practice of program expansion for an under-represented gender.

• Can demonstrate the interest and abilities of the under-represented gender are being fully accommodated.

In May of 2010, KU, noticing it had slightly more women than men enrolled, decided to meet the first of the three tests, and would encourage more men to take walk-on spots to bring the percentages in line.

The Times goes on to say that men who allege discrimination have had a relatively poor success rate with the Office of Civil Rights. And it’s safe to say that Neugent didn’t get what he wanted when he filed the complaint – KU still doesn’t have an NCAA-level men’s swimming team.

At Delaware, the men are trying to rescue their track team. School officials said they cut the team now to ensure compliance in the future with Title IX. It’s an interesting issue – and is relevant at KU – and we’ll see how this one plays out.

• The winners of the KU Libraries’ Snyder Book Collecting Contest have been announced. I first learned about this contest this year, even though it’s been going on for some time.

KU students can earn cash for putting together a collection of books (and some other forms of media, too)and writing an essay and submitting a bibliography. Here are this year’s winners and their collections:

In the undergraduate division, Meagan Kane, of Overland Park, won first with her collection, “A Genre of One’s Own: Constructing Science Fiction as a Space for Feminist Discourse.” Nathan Cadman, of Wichita, took second place with “Acting Editions and Contemporary Theater.” Collin Baffa, of Olathe, earned an honorable mention for “A Wealth of Wisdom: Collecting the Classics on a College Budget.”

In the graduate division, Francis Park, of Short Pump, Va. (which is a cooler sounding city than your home town, admit it), took first place with “Neither Strategy nor Tactics: American and Soviet Operational Art.” Second place went to Jean Marie Trujillo, of Lawrence, for “Visual Representations of the Andean World.” John Biersack, of Oconomowoc, Wis. (which might be even cooler sounding than Short Pump, Va.), earned an honorable mention for “Toward a Comprehension of Gilles Deleuze.”

The winner of each division received a $600 prize and a $100 gift certificate from KU Bookstores. Second-place winners received a $400 prize and a $50 gift certificate. Honorable mention winners received a $100 prize and a $25 gift certificate.

• Believe it or not, we’re almost through with another KU semester.

Stop Day is next Friday, already. And with the spring Stop Day comes another long-standing KU tradition.

That’s Professor Emeritus Ted Johnson’s annual Stop Day Walking Tour of the campus. You can check out the complete schedule here, but here are a couple highlights:

The whole thing starts at the Natural History Museum at 9 a.m. May 13. With “An inquiry into the interrelations of the Romanesque Revival architecture and iconography of Spooner Hall and the Museum of Natural History.”

You can always count on Johnson to take a campus landmark (like the Chi Omega fountain and nearby war memorials) and tie in the Greek myths of Persephone, Demeter and Hades and something about wheat, life cycles and pomegranates. Figure it all out on the tour, and get back with me on that one.

You can join up at lunchtime, too, at 1 p.m.(-ish) at the Crimson Café in the Burge Union.

I’ve always wanted to go on one of these, but this year I’ll be covering Haskell Indian Nations University’s commencement ceremony Which is pretty fun in its own right. If you’re there at 10 a.m. May 13, when the program is set to begin, be sure to find me and say hey.

• I will now subject you to a very special Heard on the Hill poem. This took me a long time to write. Please hold your applause until the end.

If you enjoy Heard on the Hill quips,

And think they’re the bomb,

Be sure to send in tips

To ahyland@ljworld.com.