by Tim Ziman
Before summer began Benedictine University initiated mandatory training to prevent sexual harassment on campus, known as Title IX.
This important training is done online and is designed to prevent issues from occurring, to educate students about sexual harassment and to protect students from being implicated either falsely or by misunderstanding.
“The training coordinated with WeComply, is to enhance Benedictine University’s commitment to non discrimination on the basis of gender,” said Marco Masini, Vice President for Student Life.
Title IX also protects the rights of students, faculty and staff against all forms of discrimination.
“In accordance with Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments as applied to the University’s educational programs, admission policies, activities or employment policies,” said Masini
Such a policy previously existed on campus, this was merely to provide training the WeComply company which works as an online compliance training company predominantly for Human Resource managers, but now extending that training to schools including students and faculty.
WeComply offers a wide array of training courses including college-wide services. What is unique about the training was that it also teaches students, faculty and staff how to become ‘active’ if they see examples of sexual harassment or discrimination and not just be a bystander.
This empowering part of the course also helps to further protect all parties involved.
“Our current completion is approximately 25%,” said Masini.
Students may just ignore the e-mails, or simply not understand the seriousness of the training with such a diverse environment the training serves to educate all students about proper conduct.
“I think it’s useful for those who need it but I already knew that stuff,” said senior Shantell Hernandez. “I think we need to continue to stress the importance and educate others on what other campuses have experience.”
Other students also saw the benefits from the training and its importance.
“I think its good that the university is taking steps to making students more aware of what sexual harassment is and how to act if it ever happens directly or indirectly to you,” said junior Julianne Tieu.
Currently this is done via e-mail. The Office of Student Life is actively searching for new ways to get the importance of the training out there.
25% completion is much too low considering the e-mail campaign first began at the beginning of summer.
“Would be part of the way to encourage students to take the training”, said Masini.
The issue with this is whether advisors should really be responsible for students taking a mandatory training.
Harassment and discrimination are an important issue for all schools. The support of students for the training is key to increasing the current completion rate and making sure the school is 100% compliant.
Harassment and discrimination are not easy topics for students to discuss openly, but not discussing them at all can place the school administrators at risk from false claims.
WeComply training information can be found at http://www.wecomply.com
To complete the Title IX training, please visit http://www.ben.edu/student-life/title-ix.cfm