University replaces online sexual assault training following hack in September

Sonoma State University has been given an update on the Title IX replacement program to take the place of the failed Agent of Change program students were required to complete last semester.Students will be expected to complete the new training program by Feb. 14.

“We have selected a new online sexual assault prevention training program called ‘Think About It’ administered by Campus Clarity.  We use this same company for our employee online training,” said Joyce Suzuki, managing director, employee relationsand compliance.  

The failed online interactive program called Agent of Change, administered by We End Violence, was made mandatory with the warning that it would put a hold on students’ spring registration if not completed by a set deadline. The deadlines were delayed multiple times to accommodate students during the first weeks of school in the fall semester. After many email reminders about the hold punishment,  Agent of Change was hacked on Sept. 3, resulting in students’ private information being at risk.

Suzuki also has given a new timetable for this new program. “The training will be rolled out to students at the beginning of the spring semester,” said Suzuki.  “It is a required refresher training for all students regardless if they were able to complete the Agent of Change training or not.  The CSU requires all students to do a refresher training once a year.”

“Although [the program is] time consuming and we think we know about the issue [of sexual assault], I believe that it’s a good way to remind our students and campus where to reach for help. I just wished they had picked a better trainer,” said Gyuwha Lee, junior nursing major.

Some students aren’t too happy with the decision of a new required training program. “I get why they’re doing it but it really wasn’t effective the first time around and the responses were so unrealistic,” said Amanda Gonyer, senior psychology major.  “I don’t think anyone took it seriously. I hope the new program is way better or Sonoma State shouldn’t do it all especially if it comes from our tuition.”

The money from the hacked Agent of Change can only be refunded by the Chancellor’s Office since it was a systemwide contract according to Suzuki. When asked where the money came to fund the Title IX training, Suzuki replied, “We use campus Operating Funds to pay for this training.  The Operating Fund includes both state appropriation and student tuition revenues.  The campus has not received a grant or other funds to pay for these trainings.”  

“The irony of the fact that I am learning about web security in a class that I am taking at a university which compromised our security is laughable, disappointing and not to mention the program was so poorly made. I really do hope the school gets their/our money back,” said student Andranik Paylozyan.