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College students will be required to complete a Title IX training module to enroll in fall 2018 classes, Title IX administrators wrote in an email to students Thursday.
The training module, currently in its third iteration, will focus on the school’s “policy and resources,” according to the email sent by Emily Miller and Brian Libby, Title IX coordinators for the College. Title IX is a federal law that prohibits sex or gender-based discrimination, including sexual harassment. The College has offered versions of the training in recent years, but until this coming year, students have faced no consequences for failing to complete them.
Miller and Libby wrote that they met with student focus groups over the past year to get feedback on the trainings.
“Many of you have spoken up and asked that we do more to ensure that every single student completes this training,” they wrote. “We heard you.”
This module and requirement are specific to the College’s Title IX training, though the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences has its own separate training program. GSAS students are required to complete their Title IX training as part of their registration process.
In May, University Provost Alan M. Garber ’76 and Executive Vice President Katie Lapp wrote to faculty and staff to inform them that they would now be required to complete their own Title IX training. That announcement came in the wake of allegations that Government Professor Jorge I. Dominguez had sexually harassed women in the department for decades.
Over the past two years, the University has worked to implement recommendations from a 2016 University-wide task force on sexual assault prevention, which called for trainings for students, faculty, and staff across Harvard’s schools.
The task force specifically recommended that Harvard’s schools require all of their students complete annual online modules. But roll-out of these modules has been uneven across schools. The College introduced the first online module for students in 2016, and offered two versions during the 2017-2018 academic year—one for incoming students and one for returning students. Many graduate and professional schools have since developed similar modules for students, though not all are mandatory.
This year’s mandatory training will become available in early August, Miller and Libby’s email said. Students who wish to opt out may do so on an individual basis, and will instead complete the training in person, either individually or in a group.
—Staff writer Jamie D. Halper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @jamiedhalper
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