Coronavirus Disease–Related Information for GSAS Students
As Title IX coordinators for GSAS students, Danielle Farrell and Seth Avakian continue to serve as a resource to GSAS students adjusting to a remote community. Danielle and Seth can help regardless of when or where an incident occurred, and regardless of the identity of the other party.
You can schedule a meeting with Danielle or schedule a meeting with Seth by Zoom or by phone between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (EST), Monday through Friday. If you are unable to meet during this time frame, email Danielle or Seth directly at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Seth and Danielle will accommodate your time zone and schedule to the best of their ability. If you are concerned about privacy, you do not need to use your Harvard email or your full name when scheduling a meeting. We are committed to following best practices for privacy on Zoom.
Social distancing during #COVID19 leaves survivors of sexual and domestic violence particularly vulnerable. If you or someone you know in Massachusetts is at risk, you are not alone, help is available. For Massachusetts-based resources, please call 877-785-2020 or visit Jane Doe, Inc. If you are outside Massachusetts, The National Domestic Violence Hotline provides lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims to find safety and live lives free of abuse. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
As we adjust to remote work, The Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response is offering resources to increase technology-based safety for students, faculty, and staff. These resources provide information about internet etiquette, the ways tech can be used for harm, and autonomy and consent in online spaces.
Connecting with a Title IX Coordinator
Harvard maintains a network of over 50 Title IX coordinators who address issues of sexual and gender-based harassment and work together to carry out the University’s commitment to provide a positive learning, teaching, and working environment for the entire community. As the two coordinators working within GSAS, we:
- receive disclosures concerning unwelcome conduct of a sexual and/or gender-based nature;
- provide interim measures;
- serve as resources for questions about sexual and gender-based harassment.
We address questions and concerns about issues relating to sexual and gender-based harassment, even if a you are unsure if a policy has been violated. You can contact us to discuss:
- general information about how Title IX policies and procedures work at Harvard;
- concerning situations in which you experienced or may have witnessed harassment;
- concerning situations in which you were a bystander or witness;
- concerns about your own actions;
- customized trainings for your department or group.
We care about GSAS students’ mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Should you wish to connect with our office, please contact either of us via email or phone.
What you can expect when you contact a Title IX coordinator for an appointment:
We try to return all emails within 24 hours but may need extra time to respond to emails received overnight, on weekends, or on University holidays. If you are in urgent need of assistance, please contact the Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) at 617-495-1212, the Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (OSAPR) 24-Hour Response Line at 617-495-9100, or Harvard University Health Services.
We will provide information about policies over email, but many students find an in-person or phone conversation is more beneficial to understand the options and resources available. We typically meet with students in our quiet, private offices on the Cambridge campus, but we can meet anywhere that is most comfortable to you, including the Longwood campus. We also use video chat apps to meet with students who are far from campus.
When you reach out to a Title IX coordinator, you may disclose as much or as little information as you choose. Reaching out to a Title IX coordinator is not the same as filing a complaint, and does not automatically launch an investigation.
During our conversation, we may discuss one or more of the following topics, depending on what information you would like to receive:
- Sexual and gender-based harassment policy and procedures
- How to file a formal complaint
- Interim measures, such as restrictions on contact, course schedule changes, or increased monitoring of certain areas of campus.
- Options for support at Harvard and/or outside of the University.
We treat information that individuals share with us with the utmost discretion and sensitivity. Please feel free to contact a Title IX coordinator to discuss the distinction between confidential and non-confidential resources and to find the appropriate resource for you.
What you can expect when you contact a Title IX coordinator to request a training or presentation:
The Title IX coordinators are available to present to your department, program, or group. We tailor each presentation to meet the needs of the audience (students, postdocs, faculty, staff, visitors), and to ensure that the content is appropriate to your identified need.
Examples of presentation titles/topics include, but are not limited to:
- Title IX Policy and Procedures
- Title IX and Fieldwork
- Title IX and the Lab
- Title IX and Your Teaching Fellow Responsibilities
- Beyond Title IX: Intersections of Power
- Bystander Intervention: Promoting Civility and Equity
- Difficult Conversations & Sticky Situations
Online Training for GSAS Students
Every year, GSAS requires students to complete mandatory sexual and gender-based harassment training designed to address:
- FAS Sexual Harassment Policy;
- the role of Title IX coordinators;
- the association between alcohol and sexual assault;
- resources that provide support;
- procedures for formal complaints.
Prior to registering for the fall term, you will receive an email from Seth Avakian containing a link and instructions to complete the training. Failure to complete the training will result in a hold on your account; you will be unable to complete registration until you have completed the training.
Three additional modules are designed to address specific issues that GSAS students may encounter during their studies at Harvard.
- Teaching Fellows describes your responsibilities as a teaching fellow (TF), discusses policies specific to teaching undergraduate and graduate students, and presents scenarios that you may encounter as a TF.
- Study and Research Abroad describes issues that may arise when you are studying or researching in an unfamiliar environment, suggests steps you can take to reduce risks, and details resources you can access while outside of the United States.
- Bystander Intervention discusses situations in which you may witness inappropriate or concerning behavior, and provides tools you can use to help Harvard achieve a culture of civility and respect for all.
The mandatory and voluntary training contains sensitive subject matter. Please email Seth Avakian (email@example.com) or Danielle Farrell (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions about content, accessibility, or if you feel that you are unable to complete the training.
Completing the Mandatory Training
- You cannot take the training on a tablet or mobile device. Please use a laptop or desktop computer.
- Check your browser settings.
- Make sure you do not have a pop-up blocker enabled.
- You can turn off your pop-up blocker by clicking a red “x” in the upper right corner of your browser window, and choosing “always allow.” The Harvard Training Portal has additional instructions.
- Click the link in your email to access the training or navigate to https://trainingportal.harvard.edu/Saba/Web_spf/NA1PRD0068/common/ledetail/GSAS-00036469 in your browser.
- Log in with your HarvardKey.
- Click on the “View Summary” button. A pop-up window should appear.
- Look for “GSAS: Title IX Core Module” and click “Launch.” A new browser window should open.
- When you have completed the training, you may close the browser window.
- Follow this process for the three additional training modules, if desired.
- Once the player launches, you will see a meter in the top right of the screen that tracks your progress.
- You will need to interact with buttons on some slides and/or wait for the audio/video content to finish before you can click on “next.”
- You do not have to complete the training in one session. If you need to take a break, make sure to exit the course to retain your progress. When re-opening the course, it will automatically return you to where you left off.
- If you’re in a public environment, please consider using headphones.