In this week’s roundup — the Department of Justice launches a new website to help schools prevent sexual violence, Netflix makes a big announcement that may have impact other employers, and an interview with a professor who studies how roommates influence each other.
The U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women launched its new website changingourcampus.org, which Principal Deputy Director Bea Hanson of the OVW said provides “access to cutting-edge tools, including sample policies, protocols, and best practices, that can be adapted and replicated on colleges and universities across the country.” Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:
- Links to U.S. Department of Education guidance documents, OCR Title IX Resolutions, the VAWA regulations, and FERPA information in one place
- Links to national resources, recent research and publications on preventing and responding to sexual violence
- Online prevention efforts and ideas, including CampusClarity
- Resources for stakeholders, including links to helpful information for organizing and maintaining an effective conduct and disciplinary process
- Links to Victim Services/Advocates, including a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services resource that helps find health care and mental health facilities in your community
In a momentous move by Netflix, the world’s leading internet subscription service for watching movies and television shows, the company has decided to change its maternity/paternity leave policies. Effective immediately, new moms and dads, from either childbirth or adoption, will have the ability to take as much paid time off as needed within the first year of parenthood. The press release goes on to state that, “We want employees to have the flexibility and confidence to balance the needs of their growing families without worrying about work or finances. Parents can return part-time, full-time, or return and then go back out as needed.” This is an especially impressive move due to the current federal regulations around maternity leave. The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 only mandates that new mothers (who work in a company of 50+ people, have worked there for 12 months, and have worked at least 1,250 hours over the last year) receive a minimum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave. With the current state of maternity/paternity leave being abysmal, Netflix is trailblazing an employee-centered approach that allows for empowerment and self-accountability. The Netflix Chief Talent Officer, Tawni Cranz, believes that this will lead to increased focus and dedication of employees.
As students start arriving on campuses across the country, many will be meeting the people they will be living with for the next year — for the first time. In this article, The Chronicle‘s Beckie Supiano interviews Bruce Sacerdote, who studies the effects roommates have on each other. Professor Sacerdote claims that more and more schools are randomly assigning roommates to each other. This trend is a good thing, he thinks. Randomization, according Sacerdote, “stimulates cross-geographic, cross-race, cross-cultural interaction.” Basically, Sacerdote’s research indicates that roommates have little effect on GPA, but do affect students’ drinking and social behavior. Interestingly, Professor Sacerdote also claims roommates influence job choice: “so if you happen to get someone who’s interested in finance, it makes you significantly more likely to pursue that both in internships and as a career.” No matter how your campus assigns roommates, the friendships and acquaintances your first-years make this fall will impact them for the rest of their lives.