Dean Sarah Westfall said in an email to the campus community on August 20, “the Department of Education is requiring all college students in the country complete training to learn about and prevent sexual and gender-based harassment.” The training needs to be completed by October 10, and it’s an online program that presents different scenarios related to rape culture, sexual harassment, and consent.
An amendment to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (“Clery Act”) now requires all colleges and universities receiving financial aid to publicly report crime, to maintain a public log of campus-related crime statistics, and to alert crimes affecting students and staff.
Kalamazoo College’s Title IX Coordinator Stacy Nowicki researched various online programs to comply with the standards of the new law. She found seven programs and narrowed them to three. Nowicki decided the current program because of its diverse representation of race, gender, and sexual orientation.
Nowicki acknowledged that while some students may see the training as a hassle, she believes students will learn from it. “They will have to take the program only once a year to register for classes and, since it’s only about an hour long, I don’t think it will be too much of an annoyance,” Nowicki said.
Faculty and staff will undergo training, though it is a bit different from the students. Nowicki said they will watch an informational video about handling students experiencing sexual harassment, “so if a student goes to a professor and reports an incident, that prof will be better prepared for getting that student the help he or she needs.”
Dean Westfall revised the Student Sexual Misconduct Resource Guide which can be found here.
The policy is only one sentence long, but there is further information regarding the definition of consent, the factors that increase the risk of sexual misconduct, and the College’s role in ensuring a safe environment for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender.
When asked about the training, Nowicki said “I believe it will help students learn the ways they can prevent harassment and dismantle rape culture.”