Speaker Judi Won Pat held a round table discussion to take a look at current and proposed policies at the University of Guam and the Guam Community College regarding sexual harassment.
Guam – At a round table discussion this afternoon, the Guam Community College and the University of Guam shared what they plan to do to strengthen their sexual harassment policies and to make their students, faculty, and employees feel safe on campus.
Speaker Judi Won Pat called for the round table discussion after UOG Professor Michael Ehlert allegedly digitally-penetrated two of his students at an off campus event on Halloween of 2014. Won Pat stresses that when students feel unsafe on campus, something needs to be done.
First, Won Pat asked how UOG and GCC conducts an investigation when a complaint is filed.
UOG President Dr. Robert Underwood says, “We take the report, make sure there is fact finding team, we appoint an investigator or record, then that investigator submits a report to my office. Based on the report, we proceed with an adverse action.”
GCC President Dr. Mary Okada says, “We have people trained to do investigations, we also have certified counselors on hand.”
Here’s what you need to know about the proposed policy changes at the higher institutions:
GCC already has a sexual harassment policy in place, which is Policy 185 but they’re going to strengthen it.
Okada explains, “This policy 185 has been around for awhile. We’ve only had one case in the last five years where we had sexual harassment and the employee was disciplined. The changes are incorporating LGBT, affirmative consent and zero tolerance.”
As far as training goes, GCC requires employees to undergo sexual harassment training twice a year and they provide information to students at student orientations. They also conduct a campus climate survey every two years.
They will be presenting the proposed changes to the sexual harassment policy to the Board of Trustees on March 11.
Meanwhile, UOG formed a Sexual Policy Task Force formed in August 2015 which helped create the proposed Sexual Misconduct Policy. The new policy includes updated processes for reporting and filing complaints, banning of romantic relationships between students and faculty or employees, affirmative consent “yes means yes” among students, and established protocols.
Graduate students can engage in a relationship with faculty as long as one is not supervising the other. Faculty members can also engage in a relationship, again, as long as one is not supervising the other.
UOG provides annual sexual harassment training for employees and beginning Fall 2016, all students will be required to take the online training before registering for classes.
UOG also plans on beefing up security such as installing CCTV cameras, providing more security around the school, and adding more lighting to certain areas on campus.
UOG will present the new Sexual Misconduct Policy to the Board of Regents tomorrow.