Lehigh University
Lehigh University


New online training program launched to raise awareness of sexual harassment

Lehigh University’s Harassment Policy Group has unveiled a new online education program, in partnership with New Media Learning, LLC, to help raise awareness of sexual harassment and its consequences.

The new online training tool is one of Lehigh’s many efforts to improve the campus climate for faculty, staff and students and to cultivate a working, learning and living environment that is built on mutual respect.

“Prevention of harassment is a collective responsibility and we encourage all campus members to participate in this new online training,” says Christine Cole, professor and program coordinator of Lehigh’s school psychology program, who is also Lehigh’s harassment policy officer and a member of the Harassment Policy Group.

“The Harassment Policy Group believes this will be a valuable resource for the campus community. We also hope, through important efforts such as this, to continue to cultivate a campus climate of civility, respect and inclusivity.”

All members of the campus community are encouraged to complete the online education program, which takes about 20 minutes to finish. The goal of the program is to help participants identify sexual harassment behaviors, learn to recognize and avoid behaviors that are not acceptable, and know what to do if unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is encountered.

There will be no record made of the names of individuals who have completed the online education program, and compliance is strictly voluntary, Cole says.

To complete the training, go to the Preventing Sexual Harassment Web site.

“Although New Media Learning’s online education program focuses primarily on sexual harassment, many of the principles can be applied to all forms of harassment,” Cole says. “Lehigh does not tolerate any form of harassment, including sexual harassment.”

The online education program joins other accomplishments of the Harassment Policy Group to review and make improvements to Lehigh’s practices and policy around harassment.

The Harassment Policy Group’s recent work has also included: reviewing the practice of systematic, bi-yearly adjustments to the informal network to ensure that it was sound and effective; reviewing the university’s Harassment Policy and concluding that refinements were unnecessary; researching and selected New Media Learning’s online education program to help raise awareness of sexual harassment and its consequences; and training and inducting 40 people into the informal network.
The group also created a Q & A to help clarify the policy for users.

“In advance, we thank the community for participating in this important training and becoming more educated about harassment,” Cole says.

--Linda Harbrecht

Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009

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