By Justin Schaefer
Missouri Valley College, along with basically every other college, requires its students and staff take a course on a law called Title IX. MVC took steps to streamline the process for the 2016 fall semester.
MVC’s Vice President of Student Affairs Heath Morgan explained, “Title IX is a law that has been in effect for a number of years and pretty much ensures that the government can oversee sexual violence, that everyone has an equal opportunity to an education, and educating people on what sexual violence is.”
The Title IX course has students and staff going through different situations and circumstances and then asking what they would do in those situations. As opposed to years past, this year’s required course is much shorter, yet still has the same material you’ve seen in the past with a little bit of a more modern feel to it.
Faculty and students give the course mixed reviews. Travis Owen, a science professor here at Missouri Valley College who has taken the course three times, had extensive praise for the program.
“I think it is a vital part of our academic institution and culture on campus,” he said. “It’s important that everyone is informed about Title IX material.”
Owen continued on to say, “It has helped me the most by providing example situations and how to act if those situations occur in my everyday work and life on campus.”
Morgan also had praise for it, saying it has helped the college tremendously.
“Absolutely it has, I know the feeling is across the board when it comes to students,” Morgan said. “There are some that feel it is worthwhile training and there are some that feel it’s a waste of time, and really as long as it helps people understand what sexual violence and what consent is and prevents someone from being hurt, then I think it’s done it’s job. I think that the education gives people a clear understanding of what this is, I think it gives people a clear understanding of saying this isn’t right if this is said to me or I may not need to make a joke about your sexuality. Education is always good, and I think the Title IX training is always worth us doing that.”
Students, while acknowledging that Title IX is important and is a good idea for everyone to take, had mixed reviews on its impact on them. Some said it had an impact and some, like senior Riley Schmitz, didn’t.
“No, not really,” Schmitz said. “I mean, I feel it is important for everyone to take, and I feel that when you take the course once, you shouldn’t have to take it again because it’s the same information.”
While the Title IX course will always have mixed reviews between the students, there is no doubt of its importance for students and staff to learn the importance of sexual assault and what to do when faced with certain situations.
As Morgan said, as long as it helps people understand what sexual violence and consent is and prevents someone from getting hurt, then the course has done its job, and that is best thing you could ask for.