The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point is requiring all of its employees to complete a revised unlawful harassment and discrimination prevention training by Dec. 31.
The new online training expands upon the university’s previous standards.
Mai You Lee, an equal opportunity specialist at the office of human resources and affirmative action, said the revised training now covers topics such as unlawful harassment and behaviors that can create a hostile or uncomfortable workplace environment. Prior to the change, Lee said, training had just focused on sexual harassment prevention.
Lee also said the university previously required only regular faculty and staff to complete the training upon being hired. Under the new guidelines, student employees have to complete the training as well. The guidelines also require all employees to take the training annually.
Elise Celarier, senior mathematics and computer information systems major, said she thought the new training was a positive idea.
“I think it’s a very good idea because if you’re working in a university it’s good to know both your responsibilities and your rights,” she said. “I feel like a lot of times still being a student you don’t realize what is OK and how it’s not OK to be treated.”
Celarier said she heard about the training through an email. Having completed most of the training in about 1.5 hours, she also said she believed she had more than enough time to complete the training by the required date.
The university expanded the frequency of training and the number of those taking it to conform with the standards of the Office of Civil Rights, said Pam Dollard, the director of human resources and affirmative action.
Dollard said these standards are based on Title IX, a federal law outlawing discrimination on the basis of sex in federal programs.
“Per the guidance of the office of civil rights’ checklist, all employees who are likely to receive information on sexual harassment or sexual violence or sexual misconduct should be trained on a regular basis,” Dollard said. “We feel it’s our responsibility as an institution to ensure that we are providing this information – these resources – to all of our employees including student employees in the most efficient way possible.”
The revisions to the training itself are based on guidelines provided by the Association of Title IX Administrators.