On-line sexual assault education program required to register


<p>My rising freshman D received an e-mail informing her that she must complete an on-line sexual assault education program before Fall move in day and she must receive an 80% or higher on a test in order to register for classes Spring 2011. </p>

<p>Is anyone familiar with this type of program/requirement? </p>

<p>At orientation, the emphasis of information sessions was on assisting sexual assault victims after the fact with almost no discussion of prevention, which I confess did concern me at the time. The campus is considered quite safe, but every other school we visited last year had a well developed awareness program in place and posters and reminders were on bulletin boards in every dorm - I even commented to my D about the lack of a similar program at this school. They also doesn't have much of a sexual health program in the student health center, which surprised me (pregnancy/STD prevention, etc). I almost felt like the administration had their collective heads in the sand.</p>

<p>Maybe the school is just bringing on all of these programs this year, and I am noticing because so many other schools have had them in place for some time. I just was surprised by the idea of holding registration hostage for spring semester if the program is not completed before school starts in the fall.</p>

<p>I know that college faculty and employees have to fill out these online tests every year, so I’m not surprised that students are now expected to do so as well. My understanding is that it’s primarily a CYA measure to protect against lawsuits. The university has to be seen as doing something documentable about the issue of sexual harassment. I’m not sure it does much practical good.</p>

<p>That is the impression I was left with also.</p>

<p>wait, what? Since when? I’ve never heard of this…</p>

<p>I hadn’t either. There was a blurb on the school website a week or so before orientation, but I didn’t really get the gist of it and thought they would explain it when we got to campus. </p>

<p>Nothing was said in the sessions my D and I attended. Then the e-mail.</p>

<p>The program is a pre-test, 14 or so videos, and a post-test. I did look at some of the material and I have to say that I don’t really agree with it (suggestions for girls to use “Verbal Judo” to redirect or distract an overly amorous guy - lie and say you are going to throw up and hide in the bathroom, urinate on yourself to gross him out - rather than rejecting him outright). </p>

<p>I don’t know who prepared the program. I wondered if any other colleges were using something similar and if this kind of material was consistent with programs at other campuses.</p>

<p>Mine isn’t :<</p>

<p>I’m sure yours is better.</p>

<p>My daughter’s college has something similar. Can’t quite remember it but we thought it was both silly and good, which is sort of how it should be I think.</p>

<p>Both my kids had to do alcohol education programs online as entering freshman. If the program was not completed by a certain date, their schedules were canceled.</p>

<p>My daughter had to do alcohol education as well. A friend’s daughter is going to school in Baltimore and she has to complete one about living in a city, plus the alcohol one.</p>

<p>I was able to search the web and found the company that is providing the course. They do alcohol, sexual assualt and one more (can’t remember what). The site said 17 or so colleges bought the courses 2009, and I see several more have joined this year, including D’s. Sounds like it may be the same course MD Mom’s D and Pakmom’s kids took.</p>

<p>I feel better that it is being used by several schools (I still don’t agee with some of the content, but as you said, amtc, at least it gets them thinking about the issues).</p>

<p>They have an online alcohol and sexual assault prevention program that we have to complete before registration too. Part 1 has to be completed X number of weeks before orientation, then there is a part 2 we have to do a few weeks into the semester. </p>

<p>I thought some if it was pretty nifty, no groundbreaking info but it did give some interesting suggestions of strategies for how to stop a drunk friend from getting behind the wheel, and some ground rules to follow to help prevent sexual assault-- as well as how to get help if you fail to prevent it, and how to support friends who tell you they’ve been assaulted.</p>

<p>Unfortunately the impression I got from the other students I heard talking about it, nobody really takes these things seriously until they are much older or something bad has already happened to them or someone they know.</p>

<p>So many of our children are so protected growing up; I know mine are. We live in a neighborhood that has no sidewalks, and we are just outside the town line, so to get to our neighborhood you drive down a winding road with no shoulders. So even though there are some stores and things very close, my kids would risk their lives riding bikes on the road to get there. My point? Suburban kids are often very limited in how street smart they are. I think that whatever colleges do to get our young adults thinking about life is a good thing. Maybe most of them ignore it, but maybe some of them don’t. At least it might plant a seed so that if they are in a bad situation, they will have a little knowledge as to what to do. These young people that we have protected will be exposed to things at college that many of them never imagined.</p>

<p>Some of the students feel it is ‘pointless’. One thing it does is bring the conversation to an open forum of students. This can only be good, even if they don’t think they are learning anything. There is a collective awareness you are trying to achieve…a social code of ethics if you will. “I know these things are wrong, you do too, we’ve had the discussion, I will NOT keep my mouth shut if I know someone is being hurt.”. Sometimes this is a change that takes a long time, but you have to start with what the students expect from one another, I truly believe that.</p>

<p>You know, for the next four years all this year’s incoming college frosh are going to have faculty at their college giving them assignments that are due by certain dates or else bring negative consequences. They can argue the point of each of their assignments or they can take them on good faith, knowing that someone with a more extensive background than themselves has found points in it that they believe are worth conveying.</p>

<p>gadad and blueiguana, you both make great points about the potential usefulness of this type of exercise, even if the students feel like it’s just another hoop through which they have to jump. </p>

<p>My DS is a rising freshman at a small LAC. I received an email from the school yesterday telling me that my S had received an email invitation to participate in an online sexual assault prevention program. While it is not required, the email suggested that I might want to take this opportunity to open a discussion with my child and to encourage him to complete the program. Personally, I welcome this type of communication from the school. As a nervous first-time parent of a college student, I like to know that the school is serious about my child’s well-being. Having said that, I do sort of wonder if the school also is just doing this to protect themselves in case something happens and there’s a lawsuit.</p>

<p>I appreciate the great insights offered by posters. While I believe there is a strong element of CYA in this for the school, I think that opening the eyes of sheltered kids (like mine!) to the realities of college life today is important. I doubt the discussions with D would have been nearly as in depth as they ended up being had the program requirement not been there.</p>

<p>My D finished the program. After watching the videos she was visibly agistated. She was frustrated with the victims stories because she could not understand how they allowed themselves to get into the situations to begin with (her sheltered past is showing…). After completing the post-test, she browsed the school’s website and found out they offer self-defense training for female students. She has already said she is signing up the class.</p>

<p>The school’s health center website has been updated recently. There are now tabs for STD testing and sexual health education services offered. It looks like they are implementing an entire “package” of new programs on this issue.</p>

<p>So, it is all good.</p>

<p>On the subject of sexual health education–our school district offers “abstinance only” sex ed. I’m not sure how much useful information my S will be taking with him as he heads into his freshman year. (And frankly, I’m not sure how much current information I have to share with him). I bought him the book “The Naked Roommate,” which has some good, straight-forward information about STDs, birth control, etc. Has anyone else found good resources for kids who aren’t heading off to college with much experience or knowledge in these areas?</p>

<p>The university at which I teach is requiring the sexual assault on-line education program in order for students to register for classes this fall. We have a pro-active commitment to educating students, especially first-year students, about date rape etc. When my daughter was a senior in high school I got the book “Hooking Up: Sex, Dating, and Relationships on Campus” by Kathleen Bogle. I read it first and then gave it to my daughter. The book does an excellent job of describing the casual sex that sometimes happens the freshman year, explaining why young people engage in it, and–most important–reporting what they think about it looking back as Seniors (the girls, in particular, tend to regret their actions). My daughter found the book helped her to understand what she was seeing at parties her freshman year and to gain a perspective that enabled her to think critically about casual sex. The book enabled us to interact as readers of the book rather than as a mom lecturing her daughter about sex. I strongly recommend this book. Young men would benefit too since they also feel under pressure from their peers to try the casual sex scene. Research shows that girls whose parents have divorced and who do not have a close relationship with their fathers are especially vulnerable to the casual sex scene due to self-esteem issues around men. Families with daughters in that situation may find this book a particularly helpful resource as a possible aid to their daughters in deciphering the casual sex scene.</p>

<p>Thank you for the wonderful advice. I’ll definitely get that book. It sounds like you are a wonderful resource for your daughter as well as for your students.</p>