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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Title IX training scheduled for student employees

Published: August 22, 2014
Section: News

An email was sent out last month to various directors of student groups laying out the details behind Title IX training for student employees, with a complimentary lunch to be served afterward. Organized by Dean of Academic Services Lisa Boes and facilitated by Sexual Assault Services and Prevention Specialist Sheila McMahon and Director of Employment and Employee Relations Linda Shinomoto, the first session of Title IX training will take place on Aug. 27, one day before the start of classes for the fall semester. Another training session will be offered at some point in September for those unable to attend this first event, as all student employees will be required to participate in some form of Title IX training

The email states that this first session will be expecting the attendance of Roosevelt Fellows, BUGS Tutors, SSSP Peer Mentors and Tutors, MKTYP Tutors, student office staff and Financial Services front desk staff. The training session is said to introduce students to the generalities of Title IX and the university’s policies and procedures in accordance to the act. The training session hopes to “familiarize student employees with campus and off-campus resources” while also building the students’ skills of responding to a potential disclosure of a sexual assault or harassment incident. Lastly, students will learn about the expectations associated with their roles as “responsible employees”.

Title IX, a portion of the United States Education Amendments of 1972, aims to protect against discrimination or exclusion from any sort of education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance based on sex. While it has mostly been enforced within athletics, forcing colleges and high schools to field an equal amount of male and female sports teams, Title IX also administers how schools must investigate instances of sexual assault and violence. Oftentimes, these Title IX Complaints—as they are referred to when the victim of a sexual assault or harassment presents their case to the Department of Education—are met with coverage in the media of the inadequacies of the investigation. It can lead to reform for that particular institution’s policies and procedures. Currently, per a report by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” 76 post-secondary institutions are under pending Title IX sexual assault investigations as of Aug. 13.

In a statement to The Hoot, Senior Vice President of Students and Enrollment Andrew Flagel said that the purpose of “Title IX training programs are generally programs intended to prepare and train those involved with campus conduct processes.” He also mentioned that “Brandeis has a variety of ways we train students regarding policies around sexual misconduct.” When asked whether or not there were alternatives to this particular training session, he stated “All students at Orientation participate in the ‘Speak About It’ program, and a number of groups, especially orientation leaders and community advisers, received more detailed training from the ‘Speak About It’ program and from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.” Flagel then made note of the fact that “all new university non-student staff members and faculty have training on policies and practices regarding sexual harassment and misconduct as well.”