Dickinson College has reversed plans to cut its women’s squash program after a threat of legal action, according to The Sentinel.
Dickinson President John E. Jones III sent a letter to the campus community last week saying the college changed its decision on the program and that “women’s squash will continue as a varsity sport going forward.”
The university was originally planning to cut both the men’s and women’s squash programs and move them to club status. Men’s squash will still be moved to club status for the next school year.
In a letter sent Wednesday to the college community, Dickinson President John E. Jones III said “the college has decided to change its earlier decision, and that women’s squash will continue as a varsity sport going forward.” https://t.co/zzm5bB99Hi— The Sentinel (@cumberlink) October 10, 2021
Women’s varsity squash was saved because cutting it could put Dickinson in a legal fight under Title IX because of gender disparity in the college’s sports participation. Attorneys representing a group of Dickinson women’s squash players raised the argument in a letter sent last month, The Sentinel reported.
Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex at educational institutions that receive federal financial assistance.
Jones wrote in his letter about reversing the decision that “after careful consideration, while we may not fully agree with the attorneys’ legal analysis, we did decide to re-evaluate our decision and now believe that the better course toward our commitment to gender equity in sports at Dickinson is to maintain the women’s squash program.”
The college also pledged to commission a gender equity review to ensure its athletic programs are Title IX compliant in the future, and publicly provide supporting information at regular intervals, according to an agreement written between Dickinson representatives and the California-based attorney representing the squash players, Arthur H. Bryant, who works for Bailey Glasser.
Dickinson women’s squash team co-captain Eloise Nimoityn said she and her teammates are happy with the outcome.
“I and my teammates are incredibly proud to have held Dickinson accountable, made it reinstate our team, and forced it to achieve gender equity,” Nimoityn said in a news release. “We hope women nationwide will do the same at their schools. It is time for schools across America to stop discriminating against their female student-athletes.”