Wayne State’s Title IX department emailed students a training module about sexual harassment on Aug. 18. The department is asking Warriors to complete the training program — Voices for Change — by Oct. 12.
“Students have a lot of information competing for their attention,” said Brandy Banks, the Title IX director at WSU. “The topics in Voices for Change are very important.”
Voices for Change is described as an interactive online education program where students explore topics relating to sexual harassment. Through the module, users are taught how to report a sexual crime as a witness and as a victim.
Banks said there is no punishment for not completing the training by Oct. 12, but encourages students to finish it.
The deadline was included to encourage participation within students.
“We will send invitations out to new students each semester and encourage all Warriors to take advantage of this worthwhile program,” Banks said.
Although WSU offered similar training courses in the past, Voices for Change is more “comprehensive and engaging,” Banks said.
The training was created to provide a safe community for the students and to bring awareness to the issue of sexual assault and harassment, according to Title IX’s FAQ guide about the training.
“I feel like some people don’t have a proper understanding on what exactly sexual harassment is,” said junior public relations student Stephanie Weith. “Anything from an inappropriate comment to groping someone can be sexual harassment.”
“I think it’s a step in the right direction because the only sexual assault education I had (at WSU) was during freshman orientation,” said junior nursing student Lilly Chambers.
Banks said there will be a separate module for faculty and staff sent out in the coming weeks.
The training is not related to an investigation conducted over the summer that found former WSU journalism department head Jack Lessenberry guilty of violating the university’s non-discrimination and sexual harassment policies, Banks said.
“We’ve offered these trainings before, but Voices for Change is much more comprehensive and engaging,” Banks said. “Efforts to select and implement this innovative program has been in motion for quite some time now.”
Susana Hernandez is a staff writer for The South End. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.