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First Custom-Built, Anti-Sexual Harassment Training Launched

Reem Abouemera
February 8, 2021

Recently, the University launched the first phase of its online anti-sexual harassment training, becoming the first University in Egypt to introduce mandatory training for all faculty, staff and students. The training was custom designed for AUC by a team of in-house experts. 

The Anti-Sexual Harassment Education Program will follow a phased roll-out in six stages: faculty, staff, undergraduate students, graduate students and continuing education professional instructors to ensure support for users as they fulfill the course requirements. The first phase includes all faculty members. The training is part of the role of the Office of Institutional Equity to raise awareness about AUC’s Anti-Sexual Harassment and Non-Discrimination Policy and to provide information on support services and how to file a complaint. It is a key component of the University-wide SpeakUp initiative

To ensure its effectiveness, the training was developed internally by the University as a collaboration between the Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT), who provided design expertise and content development support, as well as the Office of the General Counsel and Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) who provided the subject matter expertise and training content. The Anti-Sexual Harassment Education Program was developed in accordance with Universal Design for Learning principles to make it accessible for all learners, explained Paul Desmarais, manager of instructional design at CLT, who led the program development on the online platform.  

“It is important to understand that this is not a one-time action where the course is created and it is ‘done’,” added Desmarais. “This learning experience will evolve, with input from students, faculty and staff as well as analytics used to identify opportunities for improvement. As the way society looks at this issue changes, our instruction will need to change to reflect different needs and approaches.”

He added, “for me, the chance to work on an issue of this importance in a way that will directly impact the quality of our learning community was inspiring, but it also created an enormous sense of responsibility for the entire team working on it.” 

The course integrates current University efforts and initiatives, highlighting and reflecting AUC’s commitment to a safe campus and an environment that fully embodies the AUC community’s shared values of respect, diversity and equity — free from all forms of harassment and discrimination.

Moving forward, OIE will oversee the training implementation and make further enhancements as needed.

“This training is part of AUC’s continued efforts to address sexual harassment, and we hope that it helps raise awareness of the Office of Institutional Equity’s role across the community,” said Reem El -Mograby, director and Title IX coordinator at OIE. “In addition to learning about the applicable policy, the training includes an overview of how AUC addresses sexual harassment and how the office works to resolve, prevent and remedy the effects of sexual harassment.”

"The Anti-Sexual Harassment Education Program is a major step towards creating a safe campus with a focus on awareness,” said Sunanda Holmes, general counsel and chief compliance officer.

“It is our collective responsibility to protect each other, and educating ourselves as a community is the most effective way to move forward together. We really appreciate everyone's commitment," Holmes said.