STLCC requires students to take sexual harassment training

Posted on 08 October 2014 by admin

Students in clubs and organizations must now take the same training as teachers and faculty

The home page for the Campus Save Act  website. According to the site, most higher education institutions must educate students, faculty and staff on sexual harassment issues.

The home page for the Campus Save Act website. According to the site, most higher education institutions must educate students, faculty and staff on
sexual harassment issues.

Managing Editor

For the first time at STLCC-Meramec, students in clubs and organizations on campus are required to take tutorials addressing sexual harassment.

Faculty and staff at STLCC have been required to take the tutorial each semester for a number of years.

Vice President of Student Affairs at Meramec Kim Fitzgerald said STLCC is required to complete this training through the Campus Save Act, which was enacted in 2013.

According to the Campus Save Act, “most higher education institutions — including community colleges and vocational schools — must educate students, faculty, and staff on the prevention of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.”

Fitzgerald said faculty, staff and students will have a certificate at the end of the tutorial showing they are trained in how to deal with acts of violence.

She said each campus’ Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) works with their respective police departments to handle these kinds of situations.

“When we see things, we address it right away,” Fitzgerald said. “We’ve got a really good police department right now and they’re out, they’re visible, they’re on top of things, they’re on it.”

She said Meramec is a safe campus and most situations can be handled in the classroom.

Drugs and alcohol situations involve the BIT Team and campus police but extreme cases can have a student carted off to downtown Kirkwood, like the Jevon Mallory incident in April 2013 when Mallory attacked a female student in a bathroom.

Manager of Campus Activies Chris Bathe said students in the Student Governance Council (SGC) have to do the tutorial, but he was not sure of the reason.

Meramec reading professor Sandra Brady said she has always been told to take it, so she did. She said there was never a clear reason.

“In the time I’ve been here, faculty have been required to complete the sexual harassment tutorial, which is available on the college website,” Brady said. “I just know that I’m told do it, and I do it every semester.”

Fitzgerald said she is responsible for the unclear communication.

In past years, former Manager of Student Activities Steve Brady would have administered the training. But since his retirement following the Spring 2014 semester and the transition to the new Campus Life Director Caroline O’Laughlin, Fitzgerald said she has not had the time to really explain why students have to take the tutorial as well.

She said there does need to be bigger conversations.

STLCC recently hired Compliance Officer Bill Woodward and Fitzgerald said he will take over making sure the college is in proper working order, as far as regulations are concerned. This is a new position, but she said his job will “make things united.”

“Prior to this, it’s been a real challenge to get four different [campuses] to be doing what it is we’re supposed to be doing,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s not that people didn’t want to – it was not clear who’s responsible. When everybody’s responsible, then nobody’s responsible.”

She said the tutorial teaches students, faculty and staff how to properly handle and report instances of abuse. She said faculty is here to teach — not to counsel.

They are to handle to classroom side of things. There are professionals in the counseling office who are trained to deal with those reports.

The “see something, say something” campaign after the Jevon Mallory incident has brought on many reports, Fitzgerald said, and that anything suspicious is being reported.

She said if anyone sees anything to report it because it can lead to an investigation. Students have not been reluctant to report things. She said they know they have a support system and where to go with their concerns.

If something was reported, Fitzgerald and the BIT Team might find the reported student’s schedule and ask their teachers if they have concerns with any students in their classes.

She said the teachers may pinpoint the exact student or can say everything is fine.

Names stay anonymous. The BIT Team will look at the student’s activity — any  grade fluctuations and how long they have been at Meramec.

Fitzgerald said right now, that there is not a systematic way to ensure all students do the sexual harassment tutorial and that is what the new compliance officer will help provide.


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