Revised policy on sexual violence and sexual harassment and new online prevention courses

To: UC Santa Cruz Community

From: Pamela Peterson, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel, and Steven Stein, Associate Vice Chancellor, Staff Human Resources

The University of California (UC) Office of the President has issued an updated Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment (SVSH Policy), which went into effect on January 1, 2016. The SVSH Policy incorporates feedback and input from all levels of the university community and reflects the seriousness that UC attaches to the subject matter.

The following are some of the revisions that have been made to the SVSH Policy:
  • The definitions of sexual violence, sexual harassment, and other behavior prohibited under the SVSH Policy have changed.
  • The process for reporting complaints and for the university to respond to such reports is included.
  • A new definition of “responsible employee” has been added. It requires every employee of the university (except for a few confidential resources defined in the SVSH policy) to notify the Title IX office if they receive, in the course of their employment, information that a student has experienced sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other prohibited behavior.
  • Managers, supervisors, and faculty are “responsible employees” and required to notify the Title IX officer if, in the course of their employment, they receive information from any university community member (including other employees) about incidents of sexual harassment, sexual violence, or other prohibited behavior.
New online courses for all university employees
As part of the university’s ongoing efforts to improve how it prevents and responds to sexual violence and sexual harassment on UC campuses, the Office of the President has developed two new eCourses specifically geared towards the new SVSH Policy. All university employees will be required to complete one of the online courses depending on their job status on campus. One course, designed for faculty and supervisors, will satisfy California law (AB1825) requirements. Both courses will cover the key concepts covered in the systemwide curriculum including:
  • Definitions of different forms of sexual violence
  • Social norms, including the attitudes and beliefs that can normalize violence
  • Bystander intervention
  • Responding to sexual violence using methods that acknowledge the impact of violence and trauma on survivors’ lives
  • Local resources, including confidential support for survivors of sexual violence and appropriate services for those accused of sexual violence
  • Rights and options about reporting sexual violence.
The courses will be administrated through the UC Learning Center and completion will be tracked. The courses are accessible for people who are sight and hearing impaired. For more information about accessibility please go to The UC Office of the President plans to create a Spanish version as well but has not yet given a timeline for its delivery.

Faculty and supervisors—who have been required to take such courses every two years—will see new, updated content and will maintain their current training schedule.

All other employees (including student employees) on payroll with active status, regardless of previous training taken, will be required to complete training on sexual violence/sexual harassment prevention and response. These non-supervisory employees will be required to complete the new course by May 1, 2016 (or within six weeks for any subsequent new hires) and annually thereafter.

This training is a video-based course, delivered online through our UC Learning Center website at The course should take approximately 50 minutes to complete for non-supervisor employees. Faculty and supervisors will continue to take a separate course with additional AB1825 content that will last two hours. All faculty and supervisors will be assigned the new SVSH prevention course on their normal anniversary training date.

If you have any questions about the SVSH Policy, please contact Title IX Officer Tracey Tsugawa at or 831-459-2462.