OSMRC collaborated with RVAP to develop a new workshop for Academic and Administrative Officers (A/AOs), individuals who are responsible for reporting information they receive related to an incident of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. After a pilot program in 2015, the Responding to Disclosures as an A/AO workshop was expanded in 2016 to be offered by request to departments across the university.
The goal of the Responding to Disclosures as an A/AO workshop is to ensure a caring, effective, and prompt response to disclosures by clarifying A/AO responsibilities under the Policy on Sexual Harassment, highlighting our institutional obligations, and providing trauma-informed response. The workshop promotes student success by creating an environment in which students needing assistance can turn to staff who are trained to respond compassionately and ensure the student is linked with resources and knows their options. Participants learn about the effects of trauma on the brain and how trauma might impact the behavior and memory of individuals who have experienced victimization. The workshop provides concrete recommendations for working with individuals who have experienced trauma, including methods for empowering victims by being transparent about your reporting responsibilities early in the conversation. Case scenarios give participants the opportunity to practice applying the new skills.
In 2016, OSMRC and RVAP provided the Responding to Disclosures as an A/AO workshop to staff in International Student and Scholar Services, Academic Support and Retention, International Programs, Recreational Services, Athletics, and Admissions. This workshop was also offered as a breakout session in the 2016 It’s On Us Summit. A total of 110 university employees completed the workshop in 2016. Evaluations submitted following the workshop indicated that 100% of participants agreed that the training presented new information, 100% agreed that it presented valuable information. 100% agreed that their ability to respond to reports of sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking improved as a result of the training, and 96% indicated that they were likely to apply the content of the training to their work.
OSMRC also developed a written resource for A/AOs in 2016. This two-page guide outlines five steps for A/AOs to consider when they hear a disclosure of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, or stalking. This resource was developed based on feedback on the Responding to Disclosures as an A/AO workshop, and is intended to provide an outline of recommended best practices for A/AOs. The guide was distributed to over 8,000 faculty and staff on campus in fall 2016.
In addition, OSMRC participates in annual training for all residence hall coordinators, resident assistants, and Hawkeye guides to ensure that participants can identify incidents of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking and respond appropriately.