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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Title IX module expanded to entire campus

This year all sophomore, junior and senior students are required to complete a 45-minute online module about sexual violence prevention and Title IX, by Jan. 31. All upperclassman students have received an email with the link to the training.

“We don’t only do this because it is a federal mandate. We do it because we want to have a community that is as safe as it can be,” Karla Benson Rutten, Title IX Coordinator and Director of Equity, said. “We want people to be educated and we want folks to know that they play a role in this, as bystanders in potential things, we all play a role in sexual assault.”

Previously, only incoming students, faculty and staff were required to have yearly trainings. Incoming students fulfilled this requirement over the summer, through a sexual assault prevention module.

However, the federal Title IX mandate has changed. Now, in order to be compliant with Title IX law, all students, faculty and staff on a college campus will receive Title IX training once a year, which Benson Rutten expects to remain in the form of a 45-minute online module.

“The new online module for sophomores, juniors and seniors is a refresher,” Benson Rutten said. “We hope by doing this that more students will be interested in Green Dot trainings, Consent Is Mac programs, or perhaps becoming Sexy educators.”

All colleges that receive federal funding are subject to being compliant with Title IX law, which includes most colleges in the country.
“Title IX law changes a lot, because we want to make sure colleges are being held accountable for making sure they are taking any allegations or reports of sexual misconduct seriously,” Benson Rutten said.

Benson Rutten spent time last semester meeting with each faculty and staff department on campus to complete their one-hour trainings.
“681 people trained,” Benson Rutten said. “I did that because my position is new, and I wanted people to know what the Title IX Coordinator and Director of Equity position was and I think putting a face to the person providing this training is important.”

Next year, Benson Rutten predicts the staff and faculty training will be done online, similar to the current student module. In addition, upperclassman students will continue to complete yearly online modules, but preferably earlier in the fall semester, around November. First years will still complete their training modules in the summer.

The current module for upperclassman includes a final quiz at the end of the video, that all viewers must pass in order to successfully complete the training. The current first year module includes both a pre- and post-test.

“Online modules aren’t the best all the time, but we want to make sure that students aren’t just watching a video,” Benson Rutten said. “We need them to remember and retain all the information. That’s why there is a quiz at the end, to make sure people understand the information they just received.”

Benson Rutten recognized that the module provided this year isn’t perfect, but was a way to fit the timeline this year. She looks forward to exploring other modules that could be used next year.

“I recognize that this module is not as inclusive as I would like it to be at all. I think it is definitely heteronormative, and at the same time in order to have something that was valuable, with some flaws, to meet the timeline we had to meet – this is what we got,” Benson Rutten said. “Now, more companies are creating modules that are more inclusive, more diverse and speak more to smaller campus communities and larger campus communities. There is more to choose from, so now I have opportunity to look at different kinds of things.”

Students who don’t complete the module by Sunday, Jan. 31 will be contacted personally by Benson Rutten.

“I am hoping in the future, students won’t be like, ‘Ugh, I need to complete this module,’ but instead they will realize ‘Oh yeah, we do this every year. I am going to take the 45 minutes to see if there is something new that I didn’t know, or see how much I know now that I didn’t know before,” Benson Rutten said.

Any questions can be directed to Karla Benson Rutten at [email protected] and further information on Title IX can be found online at

Benson Rutten urges students to complete it by Sunday, saying “It only takes you 45 minutes.”

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