News Editor Eric Cohn raises some points of concern with Columbia’s new sexual respect program.
Recently, I contacted Dean Kromm asking her whether faculty and staff are required to go through any sort of sexual respect training, as is now required for students. In an official university statement from Associate Vice President for Media Relations Robert Hornsby, I learned that, although staff are required to go through some sort of sexual respect training, faculty are only “recommended” to do so. The university’s full statement can be read below:
“The first phase of the new sexual respect education program is geared to students. However, the University does require awareness and prevention training for staff on harassment and discrimination, which is also recommended for faculty. We are in process of reviewing and updating our training modules regarding this issue to best serve the entire campus community.”
My inquiry began after a tip sent to Bwog by a student who wished to remain anonymous alleging sexual harassment complaints against a particular professor since 2007. In addition to the concerns raised by student groups about Columbia’s new sexual respect program, this tip critiqued Columbia for its lack of a comprehensive sexual respect program for faculty and staff.
The tipster sent us a series of course reviews dating from 2003, highlighting the numerous complaints of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior from the professor. Our tipster requested that we omit the name of the professor and his department out of concern that the department might attempt to retaliate against her.