From left, Representative Linda Ichiyama, UH President David Lassner, Governor David Ige, UH Director of the Office of Institutional Equity Jennifer Rose and Representative Isaac Choy

On July 5, Govenor David Ige signed HB 2772, which requires the University of Hawaiʻi to educate employees and students about sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking policies.

“The University of Hawaiʻi has made tremendous progress on our Title IX and Violence Against Women Act compliance initiatives as we work to improve safety across our UH System,” said UH President David Lassner.

In April, UH expanded is sexual harassment policies with a new Executive Policy on Consensual Relationships. In 2015, Lassner authorized an updated executive policy on sex discrimination and gender-based violence, and the University of Hawaiʻi established the Office of Institutional Equity, to oversee UH’s initiatives on Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) across all 10 campuses.

“Through the Legislature’s support in the last year, we launched our new Office of Institutional Equity, which provides centralized, systemwide leadership and technical assistance for all ten campuses,” said Lassner. “Of note, UH and the Office of Institutional Equity have developed materials based on new federal guidance for transgender individuals in the university at a faster rate than in many other states. We are making final revisions to our interim policy addressing sex discrimination and gender violence.”

As part of the effort, the university launched a systemwide website, provided extensive live training and is implementing online training on Title IX and VAWA for all employees and students. In addition, the university will be conducting focus groups for the climate survey that will launch in spring 2017.

“We are committed to continuing to strengthen our compliance program and we greatly appreciate the continued support of the Legislature as we collaborate with community stakeholders and the Women’s Legislative Caucus toward increased safety and the prevention of gender based violence and sex discrimination across the UH System, ” said Lassner.