Harassment training becomes mandatory

By Shawn Havel

Co-Editor

On the Jan. 9 in-service day, Laramie County Community College employees were told they must complete a sexual harassment course online because of a "Dear Colleague" letter issued by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. secretary of Education Arne Duncan on April 4, 2011.

Government threatens to cut funds

All colleges receiving federal funding must be in compliance with the changes in the letter or they will face the possibility of having funding from the government cut. In compliance with the letter, all full-time, part-time and student employees had to take the online course.

The letter emphasized student-on-student harassment specifically in the following areas:

designation and responsibilities of a campus Title IX coordinator;

revisions to and dissemination of an institution's nondiscrimination notice;

revisions to and dissemination of grievance and investigation procedures;

standards for disciplinary hearings;

interaction with law enforcement in cases of sexual assault;

and the training of employees, students, campus.

Ensuring the College is complient

LCCC's Title IX coordinator, Carol Hoglund, who is also the vice president of administration and finance, has the responsibility to ensure the college is in compliance with Title IX and the letter, as she has selected three deputies to conduct individual investigations. They are Peggie Kresl-Hotz, human resources; Tammie Keney, student services; and Kim Castaneda, athletics.

Currently, Hoglund is working on an LCCC website she said she expected will launch in the next 30 days.

LCCC is using the United Educators' website, UE.org, to help the college meet compliance standards and provide sexual harassment training. Hoglund said the college's deputies are using Atixa.org for their training.

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Link to sexual harassment training