Harassment 101 workshop discusses legal rights of students


Carrie Jacobs, deputy chief of Iowa State University Police; Natasha Greene, Iowa State University police officer; Ben Matchan, Story County prosecutor; and Margo Foreman, assistant vice president of Diversity and Inclusion and Equal Opportunity and Title IX coordinator led Thursday’s Know Your Rights event.

Loretta Mcgraw

Iowa State students learned about their legal rights when it comes to harassment.

A Know Your Rights event, hosted by Iowa State’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, took place from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday at Carver Hall. Faculty, staff, students and some Ames community members were encouraged to attend the Harassment 101 edition of the event.

Those in attendance could learn what legally constitutes harassment and the resources that are available for reporting and investigating harassment incidents on the Iowa State campus and in the surrounding community of Ames.

The presentation was led by Iowa State police engagement and inclusion officers Carrie Jacobs and Natasha Greene, assistant vice president of Diversity and Inclusion and Equal Opportunity Margo Foreman and a Story County prosecutor, Ben Matchan.

Iowa State follows Title IX, which is a federal civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education programs and activities, according to the Office of Equal Opportunity.

“No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” according to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

The engagement and inclusion officer (EIO) initiative originated in 2015 and actively participates in events such as these, as a part of the organization’s formal partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The EIO provides training, resources and presentations to students on campus to help engage more frequently with the Iowa State University campus and also interact with students in non-police-related settings.

“Criminal harassment situations can include direct threats of actionable violence against a specific person, an immediate call to violent action, threats of violence towards the United States president, yelling fire or bomb when you know there is not one,” Jacobs said.

This Harassment 101 session was provided to highlight options available for Iowa State community members, including reporting resources, spaces for support on campus, as well as strategies to use in the moments when facing any form of illegal harassment. 

Students may file a harassment complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity via phone at 515-294-7612 or a hotline at 515-294-1222, email at [email protected], or in person at Beardshear Hall Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Law enforcement services can be found through the Iowa State Police Department, which can be contacted in case of emergencies at 911, or for non emergency situations by phone at 515-294-4428.

Student Legal Services are accessible in the Memorial Union from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is available for legal consult in person or by phone at 515-294-0978. 

Student counseling services are available in person on the third floor of Student Services during walk-in hours Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Crisis Hours are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the After-hours Crisis Line can be reached by phone at 1-800-273-8255 or by texting “ISU” to 741741.