AMES — Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen last week announced in a message to the university community the upcoming launch of new training on sexual misconduct and Title IX discrimination prevention.
In a news release Thursday, Wintersteen said that as part of “campuswide efforts to end sexual misconduct and Title IX discrimination at Iowa State,” the university is preparing to release required training for students, faculty and staff. Online training for students will be available starting Monday and will cover sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination prevention. Title IX training for faculty and staff will be available online beginning March 1.
More information about the training is scheduled to be released later.
Wintersteen, citing recent events of sexual abuse at Michigan State University and the rise of the #MeToo and Time’s Up campaigns, said she wants to address sexual misconduct on the Ames campus. She highlighted the importance of taking all allegations of sexual assault seriously.
“The first step in eradicating a problem is to acknowledge it exists,” Wintersteen said in the statement. “We must confront the fact that sexual assault, harassment and other misconduct occur across the country and right here on our campus.
“We must start by believing, respond swiftly, and conduct a thorough investigation. Survivors of sexual misconduct and anyone involved in a traumatic experience deserve to be treated with the utmost respect, care and compassion, regardless of whether there is evidence to hold someone accountable under the law or university policy. We must acknowledge the impact these traumatic events have on members of our community. The only person responsible for sexual misconduct is the perpetrator.”
The message included information about the university’s campus and community resources for victims, including ISU Student Counseling Services and the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center.
It also noted that all ISU administrators, faculty and staff are responsible for immediately reporting known or rumored sexual misconduct to the university’s Title IX coordinator.
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Wintersteen was hired last October to replace former ISU President Steven Leath, who is now president of Auburn University in Alabama. She is the institution’s first female president.
“As your new president, my top priority is to ensure our campus is a place where everyone feels safe, welcome, included, and empowered to reach their full potential and thrive,” Wintersteen said. “Together, we must commit to a culture of zero tolerance for sexual misconduct and discrimination, and I expect 100 percent completion for our new training.”