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In Her Own Words: Renee Tomlin on Meeting Vice President Joe Biden & Title IX

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Being a Georgetown student-athlete has its perks, but shaking hands with the Vice President is one of them? Well, I guess anything is possible as a Hoya. On Tuesday I was one of the lucky twelve female student-athletes to attend Vice President Joe Biden's announcement regarding Title IX. We met around 12:15 in our business causal attire to be chauffeured over to George Washington's campus for the event.

 

After passing through security, my fellow teammates and I entered into the Colonial's basketball stadium, which was bustling with both women and men of all ages and professions. Sitting close to the podium, I briefly chatted with a woman representative from Chicago's STEM Education Coalition, which aims to promote equal opportunity and awareness for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Within our short conversation, I quickly realized that the announcement about to be made was an important one in which girls and women across the United States would celebrate another positive step in the direction towards achieving equality. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that the policy of 2005 would be rescinded, so that student survey participation could no longer be used as the sole tool to gage women's interest in athletics.

 

Although the announcement is cause for celebration, I felt most moved by Biden's personal and emotional connection to the policy. Instead of relaying statistics, Biden spoke from the heart, reflecting on what his mother and his granddaughters have accomplished by their participation in sport. He emphasized how athletics empowers women on a personal level, in the education system, and in the workforce as well: "Making Title IX as strong as possible is a no-brainer. What we're doing here today will better ensure equal opportunity in athletics, and allow women to realize their potential, so this nation can realize its potential."

 

Having the opportunity to shake Vice President Biden's hand, look him in the eyes, and say "Thank you" for giving me my shot at success is an experience I will never forget. 

 

Renee Tomlin is a senior member of the Georgetown track & field / cross country program.  Already a two-time All-American and BIG EAST Champion, she is redshirting this outdoor season.  She will be competing unattached at the 2010 Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Pa., this weekend.  She will run the Olympic development section of the mile along with three other former and current teammates in former Hoya and four-time All-American Liz Maloy, former Hoya and four-time All-American Maggie Infeld and five-time All-American Emily Infeld who is currently redshirting the outdoor season. 

 

Photo below courtesy of GU women's soccer player Erika Roberts

April 2010 - Biden and student-athletes_WEB.jpg

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