For the first time starting this year, the University will require all staff to undergo a Title IX training module as a means of further preventing sexual misconduct on campus, according to Associate Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion Lynell Cadray.
The extension of the training, which focuses on identifying and reporting sexual misconduct and discrimination, is one of many campus-wide changes to combat and better handle reports of sexual assault. Such changes, which include the November revision of Emory’s sexual misconduct policy and the November creation of a new sexual assault prevention task force, followed the federal government’s naming Emory as one of 55 colleges and universities under federal review in May 2014.
“I think any time you educate the community, it helps,” Cadray said.
The online module, normally required for faculty by a federal mandate, generally takes from around 20 minutes to an hour to complete. This year, the module will include an in-class component and “is primarily focused on faculty who interact with students,” according to Cadray.
For federal officials and University administrators alike, mandatory education on the 1972 law prohibiting sexual discrimination within educational institutions receiving federal aid will help faculty identify and prevent discrimination, according to both a federal mandate and a statement from Cadray’s office. Per new government guidelines, University staff have the opportunity to gain the same expertise as of January 2015.
The staff members who will participate in the training module include food workers, librarians, janitors and all other staff employed by Emory directly, according to Cadray. The training excludes employees contracted by outside organizations and companies that provide services at the University, such as Sodexo, Emory’s food service provider.
Alain Saint-Pierre, the European history librarian at the Robert W. Woodruff Library, said he thinks the extension of the training to staff is a good idea.
“I think it’s good for people to know these things, given the prevalence of this kind of thing,” Saint-Pierre said in reference to sexual misconduct on Emory’s campus.
Vice President of Training for Emory’s Sexual Assault Peer Advocates (SAPA) and College senior Rebecca Woofter wrote in an email to the Wheel that she was glad to see the University extend Title IX training to staff.
“Faculty and staff can sometimes be mentors for students, and to provide this opportunity for staff to step into an advocacy role could be an important step in creating a survivor-supportive campus,” Woofter wrote.
Emory faculty began signing up for their modules, which the federal government updated in October, on the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA) site in late January. ATIXA is an association specializing in Title IX training for colleges.
The online training module includes risks of indifference toward apparent Title IX violations, a brief history of the anti-discrimination law and reporting procedures, among others.
Faculty and staff will be required to undergo the training in waves — not all at once — over the course of three years, according to Cadray. If those chosen to participate in the training at a specific time do not complete it by the deadline, they will not be penalized, but will instead receive another email reminder.
“We’ve had a really positive response to training,” Cadray said of the faculty and staff who’ve signed up so far.
— By Lydia O’Neal, Asst. News Editor