Melina Korfonta ’25
On Wednesday, Shannon Lynch, Trinity’s Title IX Coordinator, and Pamela Whitley, Trinity’s AVP for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Compliance, gave an update on the changes within the recently revised Policy on Sexual Harassment.
“As part of its commitment to maintaining a work and learning environment that is free from discrimination and harassment on the basis of sex or gender, the College adopted and maintains a Policy on Sexual Harassment,” Lynch and Whitley stated in their email to the Trinity community. By enforcing their commitment to nondiscrimination, the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the Office of Title IX periodically review and update their Policy on Sexual Harassment. This year is no different as this announcement indicates new amendments and updates have been made to the policy.
Starting the Fall 2022 semester, all student employees will be labeled as “Responsible Employees.” The revised and updated procedure within the Policy on Sexual Harassment requires all “Responsible Employees” to “report any potential violation of the Sexual Harassment Policy to the Title IX Coordinator or the Deputy Title IX Coordinator.” This requirement to report pertains to every “Responsible Employee” who either witnesses or is informed of an incident that violates the Policy on Sexual Harassment within the time frame of employment at the college.
The revised policy also states that college employees who are not delegated as a “Confidential Resource” are required to report any findings to the Title IX Coordinator including all known information about the alleged Title IX violation such as “identities of the parties, any witnesses, and the date, time, and specific location of the alleged incident.” The Title IX Coordinator is then authorized to share the reports with other college employees to “ensure a coordinated institutional response.” The College’s employees and agents responsible for investigating, responding, and taking action with sexual harassment reports include deans, program directors, supervisors, human resources staff, the Campus Safety Department, and others who are required, under the Clery Act, to report statistics of campus crime and issue timely warnings.
In order to verify that all “Responsible Employees” are prepared for their new positions, the revised Policy on Sexual Harassment includes a partnership with a vendor to implement online training covering these new leadership measures in order to ensure that “Responsible Employees” have appropriate knowledge and preparedness. According to the email, all student employees will be assigned mandatory training to complete via email. Voluntary in-person training is currently scheduled for September into early October and online training is currently on hold but is expected to be implemented in the future. It is reported that 125 student employees have been trained this semester on “reporting responsibilities” and therefore will not need to repeat the training.
This report comes after Whitley gave an update on the Title IX Audit into Trinity College’s athletic offerings in an email to members of the community on Friday, Jun. 3. Whitley indicated that the College expects the audit to be completed by the end of the summer. A summary of the findings and recommendations will be released in the early fall. Trinity will then use the results to plan and execute short and long-term strategies “with the goal of ensuring fair and equitable experiences for all our student athletes.”