Title IX, SEM, and Tacoma campus efforts to support students

The issue of sex-based discrimination is a hot topic among college sports, but it wasn’t until 1972 that Title IX was passed — a federal civil rights law that falls under the Education Amendments – that things changed. 

Title IX probits sex-based discrimination in any school or other education program that receives funding from the federal government. Other laws, such as those made by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), allow students to profit from their name and image, which is referred to as their Name, Image, Likeness (NIL), which was previously forbidden. These laws work with Title IX to protect and help student athletes. 

The SEM, short for Sports Enterprise Management, is a program under the Milgard School of Business. While the program is all about the business of sports, they also train, hire and educate students about all aspects of sports and sports management. 

SEM and their advocates and interns help to answer student questions about things such as Title IX and NIL. While NIL doesn’t apply to the average student, Title IX does. Rather than just applying to sports, Title IX applies to all forms of sex-based discrimination. All UW campuses have Title IX Confidential Advocates that are able to help students and provide them with the resources they need. 

Madie Brown, the Tacoma campus Title IX Confidential Advocate, has been working to help student survivors of sex-based discrimination or trauma since October of just last year. While she is not directly involved in the SEM program, she provides free services that aid students who deal with sex-based discrimination.

“Advocates and advocacy services,” Brown explained, “are kind of the first step in supporting students who have experienced interpersonal violence, such as sex and gender violence.” She went on to explain that on Tacoma campus the free services are available for any student, whether undergraduate or graduate, and any gender identity. It also applies to undocumneted students with no question asked and full confidentiality. 

“Advocates help you to understand what happened to you,” Brown said, “[They] answer any questions you have, understand what next steps you can take moving forward, and get you the resources you need. Additionally they can make work, housing, and class accommodations on campus.” 

She can also aid in filing a police report or filling out an incident report that it happened on campus. She specified, however, that students seeking help can ask and benefit from the services even if the incident did not happen on campus.

While SEM aids in providing students background information and news on Title IX and how it applies to sports, more often than not, Brown specializes in helping students who have experienced trauma.

While Brown doesn’t provide therapy, she does help survivors and students understand strategies to help them begin healing or centering themselves, and provide them with options and services to decide what might work best for them and their situation. 

Brown shared that she is always eager to get students involved in doing more prevention work, such as promoting bystander intervention programs, training and is on the lookout for someone to help aid her in social media.

She has goals of tailoring a program towards students and employees both, having a more robust effort to increase awareness of advocacy services and having others understand the process in general and how to access the services available. 

“It’s a good first step. It’s free, confidential and judgment-free. It’s laying out all the information, rights and options in front of someone and helping them understand and choose the next step taken.” 

Students can learn more about Brown and the services she offers as a Title IX Confidential Advocate at or email her at or call at 253-692-4750 with a 24-48-hour reply window when possible.

Those interested in the history of Title IX or having more broad and general questions and how it applies to NIL and sports management can learn more about SEM and contact them at