Mandatory training for incoming students highlights sexual misconduct


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An online training course providing education on sexual misconduct, substance abuse and healthy relationships is replacing AlcoholEdu.

The course, titled "Think About It," is offered through an online education provider CampusClarity. The online course is mandatory for all incoming students. It can be accessed through students' online university account.

Returning students are not required to take the training.

Two other optional forms of the online training are available. One is for faculty and staff and one is tailored to graduate and global campus students.

If freshmen and transfer students fail to complete the "Think About It" training, their account will be placed on hold for spring semester course registration.

The main benefit of "Think About It" is its presentation of realistic scenarios, said Title IX Coordinator Katherine Lasher. It also can be accessed by more people on campus than just freshmen, which were the only group of students who were able to access AlcoholEdu, Lasher said.

The training offered to graduate students and global campus students focuses on domestic and dating violence as well as other topics that might be more relevant to an older student, Lasher said.

"We want to make sure students can identify resources (they might need) and create a safe environment," Lasher said.

At the end of the training, there is a map where students can choose their location and learn about how they can access different resources that pertain to the training.

"We’ve identified off-campus resources wherever there is a physical presence of the university," Lasher said. "Students taking courses outside of Michigan will be able to find their resources as well."

Lasher said CMU has always provided students with training similar to "Think About it," but this will be the first time CMU will offer this kind of training on an online platform.

"The (substance abuse education) is something that is extremely important for us to be able to offer to our students, but not as important as the Title IX information," said Anthony Voisin, associate vice president of Student Affairs. "That’s something we feel is tantamount."

CMU has a three-year contract with CampusClarity. About a year was spent determining which form of training to offer at the university, Lasher said. "Think About it" was tested by students and departments across campus, including Student Disability Services, which garnered positive feedback. 

Federal law requires universities to offer some form of training to students, faculty and staff about sexual misconduct policies, Voisin said.  

"More importantly, we want our students, faculty and staff to understand not only what our policies and procedures are on campus," Voisin said, "but how to possibly prevent (sexual misconduct) if they have the opportunity and create a caring and supportive environment."

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