GVSU employees required to take Title IX training

By Sanda Vazgec | 9/7/16 10:05pm

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GVL / Kevin Sielaff - Theresa Rowland is recognized for her work with Title IX at the Board of Trustees meeting on Friday, Feb. 12, 2016 in the Seidman College of Business on Grand Valley's Pew Campus.

by Kevin Sielaff / Grand Valley Lanthorn

With a rise in the number of sexual assaults being reported on campus, Grand Valley State University is going the extra mile to ensure all community members are informed on the procedures to take regarding sexual misconduct.

The Division of Inclusion and Equity has teamed up with Get Inclusive to create an online training module to educate the campus community about Title IX and Clery Act reporting.

The module was sent to all university employees via email and needs to be completed by Sept. 16. The goal of the module is to create more awareness about prevention, response procedures and reporting.

Title IX is part of the United States Education Amendments of 1972. The law prohibits any education program activity receiving federal financial support to discriminate based on sex or gender. Educational institutions must also respond promptly to any report of sexual harassment or violence.

The Clery Act goes hand-in-hand with Title IX, as it requires universities to disclose complete and accurate data about reported incidents that have occurred on or near the campus. The goal is to promote transparency and ongoing communication as well as empower community members to take action in ensuring safety and security.

“Providing this training to employees will assist in increasing awareness about sexual misconduct and sex and gender-based harassment,” said Theresa Rowland, Title IX coordinator at GVSU. “(It also promotes) responsibility to report incidents to the Title IX coordinator, and in sharing campus resources like GVSU Victim’s Advocate, University Counseling Center, and GV Police Department.”

The module takes about 40-50 minutes to complete but does not have to be completed in one session. The answers given are completely confidential and any personal information is not disclosed.

When the module is started, the user is notified gender-neutral language will be used and the content may lead to triggers for some. For those concerned about triggering content, there is a hotline number provided for support.

The online course begins with basic information and definitions and outlines GVSU’s policy regarding sexual misconduct. This includes: sexual assault, sexual exploitation, intimate partner violence and stalking. The module provides in-depth descriptions and video aides. Once this portion is completed, the user moves on to the educational and reporting portion.

This portion educates the user fully on Title IX and the Clery Act. The user is also informed about the Office for Civil Rights, defining sexual harassment and reporting sexual harassment and violence.

All employees who do not complete the module by Sept. 16 will receive follow up communication from the Title IX office.

The Grand Valley Police Department will continue to send out timely warnings when any sexual misconduct takes place and will continue to inform the community through the investigation.

“When I get those alerts about sexual assaults happening on campus, it’s scary because it can happen to anyone,” said Sarah Soave, a junior at GVSU. “But seeing that GVSU is really taking action makes me feel better, it’s obvious that they’re looking for solutions.”

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