At the end of this month, Kenyon’s three-year contract with their current online Title IX training provider, CampusClarity, will come to an end. The company was purchased several times over the course of Kenyon’s contract with them; following the contract’s expiration, the College has decided to reconsider how it handles Title IX training for incoming students.
“We had the opportunity with the contract expiring, like, ‘This is a good time now, a lot of changes have happened in the last three years in this area, let’s see what else is out there,’” Civil Rights/Title IX Deputy Coordinator Kevin Peterson said.
This summer, the College will enter a new, one-year contract with SafeColleges, a provider of web-based products concerned with safety and compliance on college campuses.
On a practical level, this means that the class of 2023, instead of completing the “Think About It” module, will complete SafeColleges’ “Not Anymore” interpersonal violence training unit. While the two modules are similar in the problems they address, Peterson said the SafeColleges product is more “holistic” in its approach. Rather than addressing one component of campus culture — drugs and alcohol, for example — Not Anymore focuses on a broader spectrum of issues that could potentially arise on a college campus.
“[SafeColleges] was able to holistically look at the issues we were dealing with at Kenyon in the best way. It was one of the best programs to actually communicate the message,” Peterson said. “So it wasn’t just rules, but it also gave us a lot more options when it came to things like international students, LGBTQ+ [students], alcohol and drugs and human resources.”
Along with the standard module that first-years will complete over the summer, Not Anymore comes with a variety of training supplements. These include an expanded unit on drugs and alcohol that first years will likely complete in the fall, as well as a module for first-year international students which discusses cultural components of Title IX in the U.S.
The online training program also includes a module specifically designed for LGBTQ+ students. Assistant Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Timothy Bussey hopes to use it with different groups on campus as a way to facilitate conversations on LGBTQ+ issues surrounding sexual violence prevention.
This change in Title IX programming has come in part from a 2016 audit, which recommended that the College “beef up our training on campus and make it more holistic,” Peterson said. The Office of Civil Rights is also following through on this recommendation by developing another Title IX course that will be required for juniors in the fall semester, starting next fall with the Class of 2021.
“When you come in as a first year, you get hit with Title IX training, all these trainings, then we kind of forget about it as we go along. So what our office is working on right now is doing a refresher course,” Peterson said.
While the details of this course have yet to be ironed out, Peterson said that his office has a commitment to training students all the way through the college process and covering as much as possible with that training. “We really want to build a culture here at Kenyon from the day you step on campus all the way through [when] you graduate that’s healthy for all students, where it’s safe all for students,” he said.