I decided this spring to enroll in a graduate certificate program at Kansas State University related to financial planning. I thought the four classes in the certificate program would allow me to provide my clients with better planning advice.
After I started the first class, I got the following note that said I had to take a 45-minute, online "course" dealing with sexual violence and healthy relationship.
Course Due Date Think About It: Graduate Students 7/22/2016 We know you're excited about being at Kansas State University. To help create a safer global, online and on campus environment for you and other students, you must complete an online alcohol and sexual assault course referred as Think About It: Graduate Studentsfrom CampusClarity. YOU HAVE 20 DAYS FROM TODAY'S DATE TO COMPLETE THIS TRAINING.
Think About It: Graduate Students is an innovative, engaging, and informative online course, created with students for students. In the course, you will examine the interconnected issues of sexual violence and healthy relationships through a variety of interactive, realistic scenarios and guided self-reflection. The course promotes a healthier and safer university environment for all global, online and on campus students.
Think About It: Graduate Students takes about 45 minutes to complete. You can work at your own pace from any computer. You can leave and return to the course at any time, and when you return, it will open to the page where you left off. You may visit www.ksu.edu/asap for more information about ASAP or call the KSU Health Promotion Department at (785)532-6595.
The content of the sexual violence education portion ofThink About It: Graduate Students may be triggering for some individuals. Please direct triggering concerns and requests for alternative student training options to the KSU Center for Advocacy, Response and Education (CARE) at (785)532-6444 or email KSUCARE@ksu.edu prior to the first day of classes in the upcoming semester.
Please bear in mind while reading this that I live literally 1,000 miles from campus and am doing all the coursework online. I am also 59 years old, happily married, don't binge drink, act respectfully towards both men and women (politicians excepted), and have a wonderful 19-month old granddaughter along with two equally wonderful stepdaughters. My Fortune 50 company requires me to take annual sexual harassment training which I believe trumps anything dealing with binge drinking and hook-up sex.
The KSU Center for Advocacy, Response and Education (CARE) had a prior name. It was the KSU Women's Center. I would love to know how much it cost to develop this "course", how much it costs to administer, and how much it costs the university to nag me about it.
I respectfully declined to take this "course". I was referred to the Associate Dean and Director of Non-Violence Programs. This dean is the person who can make an exception to this federal mandate and works with "these students" as I was referred to in the e-mail chain.
I have made my request and am waiting to hear from the Associate Dean. In the meantime I received another missive stating that a "no enrollment hold" has been placed on me until I complete this "course" which has utterly no relevance to me or how I lead my life. To make sure I got the message, they included this all-caps line.
THIS HOLD WILL PREVENT YOU FROM REGISTERING FOR FUTURE CLASSES UNTIL YOU COMPLETE THE REQUIRED TRAINING.
I have already registered and paid for the fall course so this would only impact the final two courses for the certificate.
Frankly, I do not plan to cave or kow-tow to these social justice warriors in bureaucratic garb. Since this is a "federal mandate", I figure a letter or call from the offices of my senators and congressman might make them back off. It doesn't hurt that Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) is on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee or that Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) is the Chief Majority Deputy Whip. I would hate to have to resort to that but you have to do what you have to do.