Sexual assault training deadline approaching

The replacement of Sonoma State University’s mandatory online sexual assault training program was postponed for a week in order to work out final issues with the system. As of Feb. 5, the program was made available to students and will have a new deadline of Feb. 28.

In an email sent to students on Jan. 29, theTitle IX team wrote, “Some updates to the program needed in order to effectively and efficiently launch the program the way it is intended and desired are taking longer than originally expected.”

The email also stated the original completion deadline for the training of Feb. 14 was put on hiatus in order for the necessary corrections to be made.
In the most recent notice, sent out Friday, the Title IX team wrote that students can disregard all previous emails including deadlines and are now held to the Feb. 28 deadline.

Title IX is the designation given to a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded educational programs.

The Chancellor’s Office of the California State University system expanded on the designation of this law with a version of Executive Order 1095 for 2015 which includes measures in the CSU system for affirmative action such as sexual assault awareness training on college campuses. Versions of Executive Order 1095 have been implemented since Jun. 3. 2014.

The online sexual assault training program the Title IX team set up replaces a previous program called Agents of Change, a program administered by the company We End Violence, which had a large security breach last semester. According to a report from the San Bernardino Sun, the Agents of Change website exposed the information of over 79,000 students on several college campuses includingSonoma State. The report stated that although this security breach had a big impact, officials took immediate action and information such as Social Security numbers and credit card data were not exposed.

According to Jesse Andrews, an investigation and training specialist with the Title IX team, the new program uses software from the same company that Sonoma State uses to train employees online and that it’sa completely different program from the Agents of Change program used last semester.

They also elaborated on the nature of the program being postponed and stated when the program was expected to be made available to students.

“The postponement was simply due to an error that prevented the program from assigning the specific courses to students. We are doing final testing of that now and it should actually be launched by the end of this week with a new deadline of Feb. 28,” said Andrews.
As of Feb. 5, the Title IX office communicated to students the necessary corrections have been made and that students can log in to complete the training.

“The updates have been made and the program is ready for you to complete. This program is one element of our ongoing education around sexual misconduct and affirmative consent. All students arerequired to complete annual refresher trainings around the topics of sexual misconduct, Title IX, and affirmative consent,” the email offered.

The email also communicated that the program titled THINK ABOUT IT takes around 60 minutes to complete and it “will empower you to make well-informed decisions and give you tools and education on relationships, sex, and consent.”

Students are expected to complete the program by Feb. 28. or risk a hold being placed on their fall 2016 registration.To access the online training, check your Sononoma State email account.