Anti-Harassment Training Continues

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As part of the AUCSpeakUp initiative to maintain a safe campus, the University launched mandatory anti-harassment training for every member of the AUC community. AUC is the first to introduce mandatory online training for all faculty, staff and students this fall.

Department associate deans, chairs and directors took part n the September 15 training, which was conducted by Sunanda Holmes, AUC’s general counsel and chief compliance officer. All faculty, staff and students will also receive the mandatory training online before the end of the Fall 2020 semester.

What Participants Say

"Today's training was excellent and built upon the School of Continuing Education's policies and procedures that seek to maintain our school as a safe and respectful community for all. SCE has long been a pioneer in ensuring that teaching and learning take place in an environment free from harassment and discrimination." 

— Alia Shoeib, associate dean for instructional affairs, School of Continuing Education

"I wish to extend my appreciation to all those who initiated, participated and presented. Change begins by raising awareness and exploring all hidden aspects of social taboos that need to be open for discussion. The conservative culture and society we are living in needs to speak freely and learn about human rights to live in a non-discriminating society. I liked the fact that Sunanda said that even tenured faculty are not above being questioned and judged, after a thorough investigation of course. No one is above policies."

— Ebtihal El Badry, director, Languages Department, School of Continuing Education

"I am very glad to see that AUC is making such strong progress in taking the issue of sexual harassment seriously and is trying to create a culture and environment free of harassment. I applaud and support the efforts to encourage the community to speak up and report if they encounter incidents where AUC community members fail to maintain a healthy and appropriate learning environment."

— Matthew Hendershot, associate dean of undergraduate studies and Academy of Liberal Arts

"An important topic I learned about was confidentiality. We need to be respectful of the privacy of those involved as we report directly to the Title IX officer so incidents can be properly investigated." 

— Alexander Lewko, chair, Department of English Language Instruction

"The training was an eye-opener for me. I very quickly learned that I don’t know enough about the new AUC Anti-harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy. Our meeting today was a good start and will certainly be the start of a healthy conversation on what is unsuitable behavior, what cannot be tolerated, what standards we should set and what our responsibilities as faculty, chairs and associate deans should be."

— Naila Hamdy, associate dean for graduate studies and research, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy

"I'm very glad that AUC is having these trainings, and today's session helped clarify for me how to support students and other members of the AUC community in reporting incidents of sexual harassment. In addition, I think there is great value just in having a discussion about what constitutes sexual harassment so that we can all become clearer on how to create a respectful and safe campus environment."

— Carie Forden, chair, Department of Psychology

"I deeply appreciate receiving this training as it acquainted me with important information on how to support our students and colleagues who experience sexual harassment. We explored certain situations and dilemmas that may hamper our efforts but learned ways to tackle them."

—Hani Henry, associate dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences

"All rational beings can differentiate between behavior that is acceptable and that which is morally and professionally unacceptable; yet, the correct way to respond when presented with rumors of the latter was, in the past, sometimes not immediately obvious. At today's anti-harassment and anti-discrimination training, I was pleased to learn that a light has at last been shone into all the murk and darkness, and that there are now clear policies and procedures that will be enforced by all administrators (in the event of any future misdemeanors)."

— Richard Fincham, chair, Department of Philosophy

“The training was useful in learning about our responsibility as faculty and leaders in the community regarding reporting incidents of sexual harassment and discrimination in particular. It was mainly on the legality of the procedure. One important lesson revolved around listening with empathy to reports of harassment shared with us and the duty of reporting any knowledge of harassment or discrimination to the relevant office and Title IX coordinator." 

— Amina Elbendary, chair, Department of Arab and Islamic Civilizations

"At the programs and partnerships department of the School of Continuing Education, a vast variety of programs are offered to diverse audiences and different nationalities. Through launching this mandatory training to the community, SCE can market the campus [globally] as a safe and anti-discriminatory environment."

— Doaa Salem, assistant director, Department of Programs and Partnerships, School of Continuing Education

"A much needed discussion that must be shared with the entire AUC community, starting with our students."

— Haytham Nawar, chair, Department of the Arts

"The training highlighted the complexity of the issue of creating a safe environment for the AUC community. It is important to have a policy, to name aggressions and to have a process to support survivors and take action against perpetrators. At the School of Business, we are taking the training further by planning to develop an online tutorial and quiz on the policy that will be piloted in executive education."

— Ghada Howaidy, associate dean, Executive Education and External Relations, School of Business

"I think the training was very useful as a first step to educate university administrators on how to handle reports of sexual assault. It is the first step in a very long journey to ensure that all  members of the AUC community are actively involved in maintaining a safe learning and working environment. I strongly believe that such training should be made available to all students, faculty and staff. I have seen experiences in other universities where people are tested on the content of such training."

— Samer Atallah, associate dean of graduate studies, School of Business

"The training presented a strong positive message of zero tolerance of harassment based on both U.S. and Egyptian law. What most impressed me was the general counsel's compassionate advice to school leaders to listen openly without judgement to all complaints presented to us in good faith and to take the required actions to engage the Office of Institutional Equity. "

— Michelle Henry, chair, Department of Rhetoric and Composition

“Despite being confident that our faculty are highly respectable, AUC is putting in place such policies to ensure that our students won’t be left alone or left behind when facing such scenarios. AUC authorities will always be there for you.”

— Rafik Habib, director, Applied Studies Department, School of Continuing Education