Faculty Senate launches sexual misconduct awareness campaign

(Vanderbilt University)

Raising awareness about sexual misconduct and preventing sexual assault are the aims of a new campaign launched this spring by the Faculty Senate. The campaign, Golden Opportunity/Golden Obligation, includes an online training module to ensure all faculty members understand what constitutes an incident of sexual misconduct or power-based personal violence and what resources are available to students and faculty. The training also reviews Title IX requirements, including when a faculty member is obligated to report incidents.

“I commend the Faculty Senate for launching this important campaign,” Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente said. “It is imperative that we all have a clear understanding of our responsibilities as faculty members, as required by Title IX, and how to provide students with the resources they may need.”

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in education programs and activities that receive federal funds. Sex discrimination includes sexual misconduct and power-based personal violence.

“Vanderbilt University is a community that cares deeply about its students—their intellectual formation, personal development and communal safety—and Vanderbilt faculty have been at the center of this project,” Paul Lim, Faculty Senate chair and associate professor of the history of Christianity, said. “It was deemed absolutely indispensable and non-negotiable that the Faculty Senate take the leadership role—with the unwavering support from the administration—in training all faculty members for the task of responding to and walking with our students in their stress, suffering and story.

“By having the maximum number of faculty complete either the in-person or online training, we are communicating the level of care for and commitment to the well-being of our students,” he said.

University faculty can access the training in their “My Courses” list in the Learning Exchange. More information about access for School of Medicine faculty will be shared soon.