Title IX efforts should provide a safer campus for students

The University of Missouri excels in providing numerous on-campus resources for students. One of those invaluable resources is the Title IX Office. This office and its staff help students who may experience sex-based discrimination. This can range from sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, stalking on the basis of sex, intimate partner/relationship violence and sexual exploitation.

“Our absolute, No. 1 priority is providing a safe, healthy learning and working environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors,” Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said in a letter addressing the implementation of the Title IX Office on the MU campus.

President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor Loftin made Title IX a priority and hired a full-time staff for the campus office on June 1, 2014; the staff includes a coordinator and investigator who work quickly to address sexual misconduct complaints.

Linda Bennett is currently the Title IX coordinator, and has given over 50 presentations to approximately 3,000 people on campus. Her presentations provide a better understanding of Title IX for university employees, student workers and students.

MU has recently required mandatory Title IX training for University employees and student workers. This training provides information over sexual harassment and mandatory reporting. Mandatory reporters are required to complete two online training courses that include the definition of harassment and how to stop it. The other is designed to inform employees about their responsibilities to report sexual misconduct and other behaviors that classify under Title IX.

Undergraduate student workers are mandatory reporters if they become aware of an incident while they are working. This is regardless of whether or not the recipient of the behavior is a student, employee, volunteer or visitor of the university.

Mandatory reporters must report all details that they are aware of. This includes the names of other parties, if known, and all other information in the mandatory reporter’s possession. To report an incident, it is preferred to complete the online reporting form, but reports can be made by email, phone or in person to the Title IX coordinator.

While University employees are required to be trained, students are encouraged to complete an online interpersonal violence prevention-training program. This program, called “Not Anymore,” has several videos and lessons to inform students about their role as a bystander and what to do in certain situations.

Students who are interested in taking the online training should visit the Title IX website. A laptop or desktop computer should be used to take the training. The estimated time to complete the training is approximately one hour, and students are able to leave and return later to the program at any time.

For more information regarding policies and procedures with “Not Anymore” training, contact Linda Bennett, at 573-882-7915 or bennettli@missouri.edu

Rachel Dotson

About the Author Rachel Dotson

Hello! My name is Rachel Dotson, and I am majoring in science and agricultural journalism, while also obtaining a minor in both animal science and agricultural economics. My roots are stitched to a town that has acquired the reputation of being the “Disneyland of Quilting” other wise known as Hamilton, Missouri. Currently I am interning with the Missouri Pork Association, and am enjoying being a part of providing the pork industry with a voice. Also, this summer I will be serving as the marketing and communications intern with the National Swine Industry. I could not be more excited to be a member of the CAFNR Corner Post staff again this semester!