As of Dec. 1, about 70 percent of Ohio University faculty and staff have completed the “Bridges: Building a Supportive Community” module.
On Oct. 13, OU sent Bridges to 5,655 OU faculty and staff.
“The module is intended to help equip OHIO faculty and staff with the knowledge and skills necessary to build a culture of respect that prevents sexual misconduct and prepares them to respond appropriately when such incidents occur,” OU President Duane Nellis said in an Oct. 11 university news release. “The expectation is that every member of faculty and staff will complete the module by the end of the spring semester.”
However, conflicting with Nellis’ statement, a Nov. 13 university news release said “Bridges” was supposed to reach 100 percent completion by Nov. 17.
OU Spokeswoman Carly Leatherwood said most of OU faculty and staff have completed the module.
“To date, 3,901 (69%) have completed the module,” Leatherwood said in a Dec. 1 email. “The University is committed to reaching 100% completion and will continue reminding faculty and staff who have not completed the module to do so.”
Leatherwood said the Nov. 13 press release was not a mistake but was not entirely correct.
“We set a benchmark for the first round of Nov. 17, but the President’s expectation is that every member of faculty and staff will complete the module by the end of the spring semester,” Leatherwood said in an email.
According to a previous Post report, 32 rapes were reported on campus in 2016, a 60 percent increase from the number of rapes reported in 2015.
On Aug. 30, during his first Breakfast for Progress gathering, Nellis addressed the importance of confronting the issue of sexual assault directly.
“All of my executive team have gone through the training,” Nellis said during his address. “I think I was among the first — if not the first two or three. I received it on Saturday and did the training on Sunday. We’ve all been through that and so now we’re asking every college, every faculty, every staff person to participate in that.”
Michael D. Johnson, a doctoral candidate and graduate assistant at the Women’s Center, said that “Bridges” is a step in the right direction, but it cannot be the only step taken.
“I don’t think a one-hour module solves this issue,” Johnson said. “Though, it is encouraging that Ohio University is taking a step from on high to start this conversation.”
Correction: A previous version of this report misstated who made up the 70 percent that had completed the module. The article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information.