School Implements Sexual Assault Education Module
By Jayden Beatty
Residence life recently implemented a mandatory sexual assault education module and corresponding survey that all current students and incoming first-years will complete by April 10 during housing registration.
Completing the interactive module takes about 40-45 minutes, but allows participants to stop and start at their convenience.
“I, personally, have only received a few student comments and most of them are positive,” Assistant Director of Residence Life for Operations Stefanie Alvarez said. “People thought it was very relevant and that the content was great. The only negative comments I have received was that the acting in the videos was a little cheesy and the length of the module [was time-consuming]. All of the modules I previewed were lengthy, but I chose Haven because it was the most engaging out of all of them.”
Title IX requires all universities to provide a sexual assault education module for students to take.
“The SaVE Act or the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, which was re-authorized recently and became effective last march, has a regulation that requires schools to provide educational modules for awareness and prevention of sexual assault,” Alvarez said. “We have until July 1 of this year to complete that.”
The Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act is an amendment of the Clery Act that President Obama made law in March 2013. According to Knowyourix.org the Act increases transparency on campus about incidents of sexual violence, guarantees victims enhanced rights, sets standards for disciplinary proceedings, and requires campus-wide prevention education programs.
Alvarez started searching for a module this past August and previewed five modules. She then submitted recommendations to Dean of Students Jaime Woody and Vice President for Student Life Jerry Brody. As students complete Haven, Residence Life will continue to evaluate new information over newly created modules.
“Out of all of the modules I previewed, Haven was the only one that kept my attention and that I felt interested in,” Alvarez said. “I liked that it has questions about personal ways of dealing with things like bystander intervention and that it helps you see how you would respond to different situations based on your answers.”
Haven is a part of several educational programs that the university implemented this year.
“The campus SAVE Act only requires a module but Southwestern is actually doing a lot more than that,” Alvarez said. “A lot of university’s are only doing the module but we have a wide range of programming that we are doing and Haven is just one small piece of that programming.”
University-led Sexual Assault prevention programs include The Last S.T.R.A.W. (Sexual Targeting Risk Awareness Week) activities, sponsored by Student Congress, that took place last month and Take Back the Night, which will occur this month. The Climate Survey is currently available for students to take which will be reviewed by the Student Life Programming Committee who will then determine programming changes for next year.
“Our biggest problem that we’ve found with our current programs is attendance, so we [the committee] will be looking at ways to improve that,” Alverez said.
Haven requires students to submit responses after completing the module will help determine whether or not Residence Life will further implement Haven.
“The process is still ongoing,” Alverez said. “Haven is just in a trial period for us. We are going to try to look at other modules and see if there are any that meet our needs better.”