Online course on sexual assault prevention will be mandatory.
By Daniel Carde
Haven, a 45-minute online course on the awareness and prevention of violence and sexual assault, is available to all Alamo Colleges students now and will be required of all incoming students after July 1.
The course is in response to a Department of Education mandate requiring all new students after July 1 to take this training, Tracy Floyd, student conduct officer and District Title 9 Committee member, said March 2.
“We’re not limiting it to just new students,” Floyd said. “We are making it available to all of our students.”
The course is accessible through ACES under the student tab.
After July 1, a hold will be placed on records of new students if they don’t complete the training by the end of their first semester, Floyd said.
Title 9 is a federal law enacted in 1972 to protect people from gender discrimination at educational institutions receiving federal financial assistance.
“It dealt mainly with gender equity in athletics,” Floyd said.
The scope of Title 9 has expanded.
“Over the course of several years, the definition of Title 9 has expanded to include any kind of discrimination based on gender,” Floyd said. “That includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, bullying, dating and domestic violence and retaliation.”
Title 9 affects all students, Floyd said.
“One in five college-age women will have experienced an attempted or completed sexual assault,” Floyd said, referencing statistics from the National Institute of Health.
Students will not only learn what the discrimination issues are and how to recognize “red flag behaviors” but also how to report incidents if they see or experience them, Floyd said.
“They can report confidentially,” she said.
If students are unsure of how they want to respond to an incident, they can speak with a counselor about what to do.
“Our licensed mental-health counselors are what we refer to as confidential reporters,” Floyd said. “They are not obligated to report to the Title 9 coordinator.”
The coordinator for each campus is the vice president of student success.
All other employees must report to the Title 9 coordinator if a student informs them of an incident, Floyd said.
If a student reports an incident, or if a faculty member reports an incident on a student’s behalf, the deputy Title 9 coordinator will meet with the student to inform the student of their options and rights, she said.
“The power lies with the student,” Floyd said.
At the beginning of the course, students are asked questions about their experiences and their current beliefs and attitudes.
About a month after taking the course, students are emailed a prompt to return to the course and take another survey, Floyd said. The second survey asks students what they learned from the course and their current attitudes and beliefs on sexual harassment and violence.
The information gathered by the surveys is reported to the college administration in generic terms, Floyd said. Administration will not receive students’ identifying information. The information helps administrators identify prevalent issues on campus.
“We get absolutely no identifying information about a student,” she said. “It sends us the information about what the students are telling us is important.”
For more information, call Dr. Lisa Alcorta, interim vice president of student success, at 210-486-1410.