New employees attend Title IX compliance training

The biannual Title IX compliance training was held on Oct. 29-30 for all new faculty, staff and administrators, each day consisting of an hour-long training session at 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

The 2 p.m. session on Oct. 30 was canceled for anyone who wanted to attend the gathering held for Hannah Morris, ’17, who was struck by a vehicle on the evening of Oct. 29 and later died of her injuries.

According to the Interim Title IX Coordinator Gilly Ford, the training is mandatory for all new employees, but is open to those who have already completed it.

“There is always an invitation for people who want a refresher,” said Ford.

For students who have questions about Title IX, Ford encouraged them to visit the Title IX or Human Resources website.

Ford said that employees learn about more than the mandatory guidelines of Title IX.

“We try to focus not only on our policy, but on awareness, prevention and risk reduction,” she said.

Many of those who attended the training sessions this year were engaged in conversations and questions about the subject.

“There’s a genuine interest in being helpful,” said Ford.

Ford said that in the past the trainings were conducted by the college’s attorney, Martha Munsch, who works with Reed Smith law firm in Pittsburgh. Ford said that Munsch often assists the administration in ensuring it is fulfilling all of its required duties. In the fall of 2014, the previous Title IX Coordinator Katie Pope conducted the training with the attorney, and in the spring of 2015, Pope conducted the training herself.

I think that having a well-functioning Title IX training is vital to the health of the campus.

— Brian Miller

Ford has decided to continue conducting the sessions independently.

“We live this policy day in and day out, and I think it’s really beneficial to have a visual of the person on campus who is responsible for…coordinating so many of these efforts for Title IX,” Ford said. “So I thought it was really important to have that little bit of visibility for our office.”

Ford said the hope is for employees to leave the session with a better understanding of their responsibilities and of the college’s policies.

According to Instructor of History Brian Miller, who went through this year’s training, one of those responsibilities is called mandatory reporting. If a student confides in them about a Title IX issue, they are required to report it.

“We are obligated to notify Title IX about the incident,” Miller said.

Although Miller went through Title IX training while he was a teaching assistant at the University of Iowa, he is grateful to see the training happening on Allegheny’s campus and was happy to go through the training again.

“I think that having a well-functioning Title IX training is vital to the health of the campus,” he said. “It’s time well-spent.”

He said he believes that knowing how to handle Title IX issues ahead of time is crucial, something with which Melissa Lopez, ’17, agreed.

“If a student does have something that would be really important for the Title IX to know about, they know how to handle the situations,” Lopez said.