USC apologized on Tuesday for asking questions about students’ sexual history in a mandatory sexual assault training course. The University received backlash after the online publication Campus Reform released details of the questionnaire on its website, prompting the apology and removal of questions from the training.
The questions, which some people deemed invasive, asked students how many times they had sex in the past three months, as well as how many sexual partners they have had and whether or not they use a condom.
“USC apologizes for any offense or discomfort caused by optional questions included as part of a mandatory online training for students on sexual consent, misconduct and other important issues,” senior vice president for administration Todd Dickey said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
The questions also were removed from the training course Tuesday.
Although the questionnaire, part of a larger sexual assault training course meant to teach students about safe sex and comply with Title IX regulations, is mandatory — students cannot register for spring classes until they have successfully completed the course — the questions about students’ sexual history are optional, with a “No Comment” option available. The survey is anonymous; students’ identities are not tied with their answers to the questions.
Campus Clarity, which produces the training for USC, clarified that the material was used in Title IX training programs at more than 500 colleges and universities across the country. The training is required for all university freshmen under the Campus Save Act, which came into effect last year.