Washington University trains full-time Title IX investigator
The Washington University Title IX office is currently in the process of training its new lead investigator, Eva Fischer. This is the first time a full-time investigator position has existed within the Title IX office.
Fischer officially accepted the position Jan. 16, and has since undergone Trauma Informed Interview training, Title IX/VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) Investigator training, Safe Zones training, Implicit Bias training and was recently certified as a Level One Civil Rights Investigator.
Fischer was chosen for the position based on her familiarity with the University community as a former Washington University Police Department (WUPD) officer and her background as an investigator and recommendations from former employers and coworkers.
“For us, it was important that she already knows some of the players that are involved. We do some work with WUPD, but she’s also familiar with the campus, she’s familiar with the student body in a lot of ways. That was a real bonus for us,” Title IX Coordinator Jessica Kennedy said. “All the reports that we got, from the many folks we spoke to who were her references, indicated that she is very thoughtful, that she is very hardworking, that she’s really detail-oriented and that she is someone who is incredibly thorough in the way that she handles her investigations.”
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori White emphasized the importance of this position, as she hopes that it will greatly improve the Title IX process.
“I believe having a full-time Title IX investigator will help to improve the Title IX process, as the full-time investigator will be more readily available to conduct interviews with students going through the process or who need to be interviewed as part of the process,” White wrote in a statement to Student Life.
The creation of a full-time investigator position was one of five demands made by student group Title Mine in April 2018.
“Now that [Fischer’s] been hired, we hope that with her responsibilities being on full-time investigation, she will take the burden off [Associate Title IX Coordinator] Cynthia Copeland and Jessica Kennedy, and that will hopefully expedite some of the processes,” Title Mine President sophomore Candace Hayes said.
Kennedy projects that Fischer will be done with training and assume the full responsibilities of the position starting in fall 2019. Fischer shared excitement for the work she will undertake as she completes her first few months in the role.
“My primary goal is to be equitable and thorough in every investigation,” Fischer wrote in a statement to Student Life. “A key component of that is ensuring I do not create secondary trauma for any person involved in the Title IX process. I also hope to contribute to an environment within the Title IX office where all members of our community feel comfortable conversing with me and our office personnel.”