The University of Massachusetts launched an online training course covering responsibilities under Title IX and the Clery Act this month which targets Campus Security Authorities, according to a University press release.
The release stated that, “Every University official who has significant responsibility for student and campus activities is identified as a (CSA) who is required by federal law to undergo the annual online course. For the current training, 1,047 university employees have been identified as CSAs.”
In an email from Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy to CSAs, he said that the training is “an important initiative aimed at supporting the University’s commitment to safety and security.”
According to Daniel Fitzgibbons, associate director of News and Media Relations for UMass, this training is not connected to the Title IX compliance review of the University by the U.S. Department of Education.
Instead he said, “This is something that all schools are required to do under federal law. Basically, they want to make sure that institutions across the country have trained their faculty and staff to understand what is required under Title IX and under the Clery Act.”
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive federal financial assistance, which includes UMass.
The U.S. Department of Education’s website included sexual harassment, failure to provide equal opportunity in athletics, discrimination in a school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education courses and programs and discrimination based on pregnancy as examples of discrimination under Title IX.
The Clery Act requires universities to disclose information about crime on and around their campuses. In an annual security report, universities must document three calendar years of crime statistics as well as include an outline of security policies and procedures and information on the basic rights of victims of sexual assault.
The training course was designed for UMass by D. Stafford and Associates, according to Fitzgibbons. According to its website, D. Stafford and Associates is a professional consulting firm that focuses on campus safety, campus law enforcement issues and Clery Act compliance.
The website explains that under the Clery Act, “It is imperative that CSAs understand the essential elements of the crimes they are required to report, the geographic locations for which crime reports must be filed and the institutional requirements regarding ongoing disclosures to the campus community.”
According to the website, under Title IX, “It is critical that Responsible Employees understand the types of conduct that may constitute sexual harassment or misconduct under Title IX and that they further understand their related duties as Responsible Employees.”
Responsible Employees refers to university officials required to report sexual harassment and misconduct under Title IX.
D. Stafford and Associates could not be reached for comment on the training designed specifically for UMass.
Marie MacCune can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MarieMacCune.