Supporting a Harassment and Discrimination-Free Campus Environment
New Online Harassment Prevention & Response Course Offered at UI
Staff in the UI’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (EOD) recently partnered with their peers at UNI and ISU to update online education tools that support harassment and discrimination-free environments.
After working together on a joint Request for Proposal (RFP), the new online program contains a module from EverFi, a leading EdTech company that specializes in college and university curriculum that supports administrators, faculty, and staff in fostering safe and healthy campuses.
Jennifer Modestou, director of the EOD and deputy Title IX coordinator, says that so far, the partnership across universities has not only been a cost savings, but an opportunity to improve and streamline educational programs.
“This process has enhanced our ability to provide an online program that is tailored to a higher education environment,” says Modestou. “Faculty and staff who have used the new program appreciate the realistic case scenarios and guidance for persons who may receive reports of concerns from UI students, faculty, and staff.”
In addition to the module from EverFi, the new online course includes a module on UI Policies and resources that summarizes the reporting options and support services available to UI faculty, staff, and students who may have concerns about incidents of harassment, discrimination, prohibited consensual relationships involving students, or violence.
“At the University of Iowa, we are strongly committed to educating our employees to help provide a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for all UI community members,” says Monique Dicarlo, sexual misconduct response coordinator and Title IX coordinator at the UI. “We are pleased to have the additional resources available to us through EverFi’s Campus Prevention Network to advance our violence prevention efforts.”
EOD staff are also busy updating their instructor-led trainings to align more closely with the new educational content from EverFi. EOD plans to roll out the new instructor-led harassment prevention and response content in Fall 2018.
UI ADA Coordinator Strives to Improve Accessibility for All
Tiffini Stevenson Earl has been the UI’s ADA coordinator and compliance specialist since 2008. And, though she’s responsible for assuring the university is in compliance with all federal and state regulations pertaining to persons with disabilities, she’s also dedicated to guiding the UI’s efforts to move beyond compliance toward seamless access.
As the university’s focal point for disability related initiatives, the ADA Coordinator collaborates with university offices and administrators, governmental agencies, and advocacy groups to inform decision-making and ensure university compliance with state and federal mandates.
After 10 years at the job, Stevenson Earl says the best thing about her position is the collaborations and partnerships she’s been able to form to make campus more accessible.
“A former administrator once told a group of us that the ADA is more than doing what is required by law but doing it (making our campus accessible) because it is the right thing to do,” says Stevenson Earl. “His words have always served as motivation to go above minimum compliance when possible.”
Inclusive Design Promotes Health, Safety & Inclusion for All
EOD recently created a short film to help educate campus on the importance of universal/inclusive design when it comes to campus architecture.
Available on EOD’s website, the video offers information and examples on design choices that promote health, safety, and social inclusion.
The College of Pharmacy’s new building — expected to open in 2020 — will embrace these concepts by incorporating built-in hearing loops that will broadcast directly to hearing aids and having colors associated with each floor. This forward-looking space will help the college take the lead in offering innovative and accessible educational opportunities for all of its students.