After Ehlert court verdict, sexual misconduct policies remain in place

It has been over two months since the widely publicized conviction and subsequent firing of former UOG Associate Professor Michael Ehlert, Ph.D., but the case continues to have a lasting imprint on the way UOG deals with sexual misconduct.

“Since that’s happened, we’ve completely revamped our sexual misconduct policy,” said Jonas Macapinlac, director of UOG Integrated Marketing Communications.

Joseph B. Gumataotao, Equal Opportunity Employer director and Title IX/Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator, feels the sexual misconduct policy is adequate. However, he said it undergoes annual review to determine if it requires amendment.

He anticipates 2017’s review to conclude within the next upcoming meetings with the policy’s advisory group.

“It’s all-encompassing,” Gumataotao said.  “However, I think it’s just a matter of trying to make the grievance process more understandable. I guess, to the average student, it seems like legalese in it and sometimes students might get confused.”

According to the UOG website, the policy was updated earlier this year on March 17.

In April, the University implemented a notable measure— the annual sexual misconduct online training, which is a mandatory quiz required for all university students and employees.

“I would say that it’s effective in that every single person that is at the University, whether employee or student, is aware of our sexual misconduct policy and is aware of what constitutes sexual misconduct so there aren’t any excuses for when you get into those types of situations,” Macapinlac said.

For students such as junior Matthew Miguel, however, it’s the opposite.

“No, I don’t feel [like] it’s effective,” Miguel said. “Plus, they’re doing that just to register, so their mind is on registering for class.”

Miguel said he recognizes the efforts of the University to raise awareness and keep students informed, but the problem lies in getting students to take the online test seriously.                                     

Regarding future plans, Gumataotao explained that the University is looking to launch a new app in collaboration with UOG Integrated Marketing Communications to reach students who utilize technology.

Additionally, he seeks to increase sign distribution around campus, highlighting sexual misconduct prevention.

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