“JAGS GET CONSENT” is stamped on the side of keychain pocket knives handed out by the Title IX Office during the Week of Welcome Block-Party and Resource Fair Aug. 28 at Texas A&M University-San Antonio.
The Title IX Office executes and oversees the university’s compliance with the Education Amendment of 1972 which prohibits the discrimination of sex at institutions that receive federal funding. Students who experience sex discrimination can file complaints with Title IX.
The keychain multitools, which also feature a pen, bottle opener and flashlight, were one of several items provided by Title IX including magnetic clips, playing cards and multifunctional pens.
Analiese Leo, a psychology senior at A&M-San Antonio, has one of the Title IX pocket knives.
“Are you giving me permission to defend myself if I feel endangered at school?” Analiese Leo asked in an interview Sept. 1.
Leo said she heard about the Title IX Office handing out keychain pocket knives from her roommate Mia Alfred during the first-day block party on campus.
“I see what Title IX was doing, but it was unexpected,” Alfred said. Alfred is a psychology junior and also has one of the distributed knives.
Alfred says the keychain knife is delicate and breaks easily but is glad to have one.
“I would expect UPD to hand them out,” Leo said. “The sentiment behind it is weird, like what are we supposed to do with the pen, use it in class?” Leo said.
Leo also said the blade is about two inches long.
According to the student handbook, possession of weapons, including knives 5.5 inches and over, is prohibited.
Senior communications manager Sam Boykin said the Title IX office checked the legality of the “multi-tool” with the University Police Department, and UPD “indicated students and employees are allowed to carry pocket knives on campus as long as the blade is 5.5 inches long.”
A&M-SA’s frequently asked questions (FAQ), also says possession of weapons, including knives 5.5 inches and over, is prohibited.
“I thought it was cool Title IX was handing these out, because I wanted to get my own, because I didn’t have one,” Alfred said.
The Mesquite reached out to UPD’s Chief of Police Ronald Davidson to ask about the keychain multitools.
“Sorry, I do not respond to media inquiries,” Davidson said.
Ally Gonzalez contributed to this story.