ACC to make policy changes

ALPENA – Alpena Community College Board of Trustees held a workshop with college attorney Karen Bennett to discuss changes in policies related to the Clery Act and Violence Against Women Act.

“The workshop was about student safety, reporting and investigation and ways to create a safer environment for our students,” President Olin Joynton said. “We are working to create pathways of investigation with the goal of taking care of victims and engaging in prevention of violence.”

New federal laws require the college to put its best efforts forth to comply to these policy changes by the end of March, and will start being held accountable for these changes in October.

To make locating these new and revised policies easier, Bennett suggested the board add a new section to the policy book called “Safety and Security Policies,” which would put all of the relevant policies for student safety in one place.

“The board policy requires two readings of these new and revised policies,” Bennett said. “It’s not just reporting involved, it’s changing the culture.”

Bennett said information needs to be available for students on where to locate sex offender information, policies need to be available on the website – which they already are – and drills must be followed up with an exercise on effectiveness, which also must be published.

The board most likely will have its first reading of these policy amendments and additions at its March meeting.

“These new policies will update the help available for resources, recovery and support.” Joynton said.

The cost of updating these policies and providing the necessary paperwork will be around $20,000, most of which comes from attorney resources needed to translate the policies.

“It’s a lot of work and investigation,” Joynton said.

The ongoing costs are expected to be around $2,000 or $3,000 per year depending on brochures and updating new data gathered.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.