Photo by Joseph Williams / CC 2.0

Harvard University's Athletics Department has launched a series of mandatory training programs for student athletes, coaches and department staff in response to a series of scandals involving sexual harassment and sexism, according to a report in The Harvard Crimson, the university's student newspaper.

Teams will be required to attend "no fewer than five mandatory trainings and programs," the Crimson reported. The new mandatory training will begin this month for with some different sessions for students and staff. According to the Crimson, student athletes will participate in educational programming on gender and sexual harassment programs and athletic staff will be required to attend unconscious bias training, among other events.

Last November, Harvard’s male soccer team was penalized for annual “scout reports,” in which a spreadsheet was used to rate the appearances of recruits for Harvard’s respective female teams. The Harvard Crimson had unearthed a sexually explicit "report" from 2012 in late October and a subsequent investigation by the Office of General Counsel determined that the vulgar documents were produced continuously until 2016. 

Harvard Athletics Director Robert L. Scalise announced in an email to student athletes shortly after that he had decided to cancel the remainder of the team's season. 

Roughly a month later, the men's cross country team was placed on "athletic probation" after a report by the Office of General Counsel discovered that members of the 2014 team had written "crude and sexualized statements" about members of the 2014 women's team. 

Scalise also said in an email sent to student athletes earlier this year that the department has developed a new “protocol for receiving and acting on complaints of gender inequities,” after enacting a department wide "cultural review" over the course of the previous year. 

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