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Ohio State launches mandatory student training for sexual misconduct

Ohio State launched a mandatory sexual misconduct prevention training for students to gain a better understanding of identifying, disrupting and reporting sex- and gender-based misconduct, according to an email sent out by the university on Thursday.

The training, titled “U Got This!: Your Online Guide to Speak Up, Step In and Create a Better Campus for All,” is available on BuckeyeLink for students and is said to take between 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

It was created after the University Senate and University Student Government passed a resolution in March requiring the training for all students and all employees, said Kellie Brennan, Ohio State’s Title IX and Clery Act coordinator. The faculty training will be released in “a few weeks,” she said.

“It’s a very interactive session of online modules where you really get the understanding of both how to define and understand what different types of sexual misconduct look like on a college campus and in the community, and what it means for someone to have experienced that both as a survivor and to support someone who may be experiencing that,” Brennan said.

Brennan added that it’s also about addressing the culture around campus sexual violence and breaking down some of the myths associated with sexual assault.

This is a change from the previous system, called the “Campus Clarity” course, that was installed in 2016, requiring all first-year students and transfer students, as well as any graduate and professional students to take the course. Brennan said the old course was strongly encouraged and certain departments and units could make it mandatory for employees, but the March mandate will make this new training required.

The “U Got This” course was created by Catharsis Production and was installed at hundreds of other universities around the country, Brennan said. It was chosen by Ohio State after focus groups comprised of students and faculty deemed it the best option of several other modules, some made in-house and some from other vendors, Brennan said.

The focus groups also said there needed to be one developed for faculty unlike the student-focused one that was launched Thursday. The faculty one would be slightly different from the student course in that it would put more of an emphasis on the “duty to report” and what that means under university policy, Brennan said.

“Really help turn the impression that people have of reporting as being something negative into a very positive thing because it’s really in the end all about getting someone to the right place to get them help,” Brennan said. “And it’s not something that has a negative connotation where something would happen without that victim or survivor wanting the next step to happen, so the title of the employee training is actually called “Report = Support” to try to make that message clear that reporting and supporting someone go hand in hand.”

Though the training is said to be mandatory, Brennan said there is not a deadline set for when students will have to complete the training by and did not specify what would happen to a student if they did not take the course. She said reminders will be sent out to students who do not finish the training.

“We really launched this expectation with the understanding that people should do this. So it’s important and it’s something that you should do and we really don’t want to focus on the negatives,” Brennan said. “So the what happens if I don’t do this because everyone should want to do this, and should make it kind of a priority in terms of fulfilling obligations, whether they are a student or an employee.”

2 comments

  1. The SafeStudentProject.com is a self-defense and safety program for college students. This would be a great workshop for students, especially freshmen.

  2. Not terribly impressed with this training, knowing survivors and frankly having been creep-ed on by higher-ed faculty it seems rather flippant. It’s interactive, which is good, but the style and ‘voice’ seems off to me.

    Our institution has serious allegations levied against its past faculty/staff towards students, with an active Dept of Ed. investigation, so perhaps you should roll this out this training to employees first before creating another tone-deaf training for students to wade through without direction.

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