Title IX expert sees flaws in CSU response to sexual harassment reports involving Sonoma State

Sandra E. Hodgin, a Title IX professional and founder of the California-dependent Title IX Consulting Group, reported she saw purple flags in the way that the state’s greatest university system responded to people who claimed sexual harassment involving Sonoma Point out.

Former Environmentally friendly Tunes Middle controlling director Kevin Wenrick said he approached SSU President Judy Sakaki in 2016 with concerns about her partner, Patrick McCallum.

Hodgin stated that, at the time, it was considerably less popular for personnel harassment issues to be taken care of through a Title IX Office, in which they are commonly managed now.

“In 2016, campuses only seemed at Title IX protections for college students for the most aspect,” Hodgin explained. “They weren’t searching at preserving employees and how to deal with sexual harassment under Title IX.”

Nonetheless, the university was issue to Title VII, the federal law prohibiting discrimination in the office, Hodgin reported. Human sources would have been the ideal channel for Wenrick to deliver such a report, she mentioned.

It is not unusual for personnel to use informal channels, these as an offhand discussion to pass alongside facts about probable harassment, primarily if they are not completely trained in how to use the official channels this kind of as human resources, she said.

A college president, nevertheless, “would have identified who the suitable individuals are, primarily for Title VII at that time,” Hodgin claimed. “They would have regarded HR is where you’re meant to go.”

“Legally, is (Sakaki) the just one that they’re supposed to go to and give this problem? Not necessarily,” she mentioned.

“However, greatest procedures would be for her to then say to this personal, ‘If you have a issue, go to HR.’ Or she could have contacted HR and advised her secretary or somebody, ‘You know what, just be certain to allow HR know somebody gave me this details. I’m doing my thanks diligence and permitting HR know this arrived to me … so that way, they can just abide by up on it if they want to.’”

Hodgin questioned why Wenrick did not abide by up on his initial report to Sakaki inside of a thirty day period. He explained he would have carried out so if he hadn’t been fired a tiny more than a thirty day period afterwards.

Hodgin also questioned whether or not authorities properly handled the case of William Gregory Sawyer, a vice president at CSU Channel Islands who was below investigation for harassment when he was hired at Sonoma Condition.

In that scenario, Hodgin said, she would have also anticipated the CSU Chancellor’s Workplace to get concerned following the obtaining of unprofessional conduct.

“I would presume that the CSU process would have expected him to go into some sort of training or schooling to guarantee that there was no unprofessional perform continuing to acquire spot,” Hodgin reported.

Arrive at Staff Author Kaylee Tornay at 707-521-5250 or [email protected] On Twitter @ka_tornay.

Access PD Columnist Marisa Endicott at 707-521-5470 or [email protected] On Twitter @InYourCornerTPD