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Student sexual assault awareness training arrives on campus

Student sexual assault awareness training arrives on campus

Student sexual assault awareness training arrives on campus
August 26
00:28 2014

Ali West / Copy Editor

An estimated one-in-five women are sexually assaulted while in college, and 90 percent of the time the perpetrator is someone the woman knows.

The federal government passed the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act in an attempt to curb these statistics by educating students and providing guidelines for handling sexual assault on college campuses. In accordance with the act, all UNT freshmen, transfer and graduate students, in addition to Greek organization members, are now required to take the online Haven sexual assault training course.

The initial training takes between two-and-a-half and three hours with an additional follow-up training later in the semester. The subjects of Haven range from sexual consent to healthy relationships to cultural gender stereotypes.

Haven is a product created by a company called EverFi, which also provides AlcoholEdu. Associate Dean of Students Rodney Mitchell oversees the program’s implementation, which he said several universities are using to meet the requirements of the Campus SaVE Act.

Mitchell said the training not only addresses being involved in a sexual misconduct situation, but also a being a bystander witnessing a situation. The program encourages and gives people tools to step up, Mitchell said.

“We want everybody to be safe,” Mitchell said. “If we could get involved and care for one another, take care of one another, we’ll have a better and safer community.”

Communication design freshman Michael Wood said he believes the training is a good thing for UNT students.

“We always know assault and things like that happen, but we don’t always know the data behind it,” Wood said. “The one issue I have is they seemed to repeat themselves often, but sometimes that’s the best way to learn things.”

The training was gender-neutral, said communication design freshman Sydney Osteen.

“I think it’s very well balanced,” Osteen said. “It always approached the men and the women’s side of stories.”

The Haven program is interactive, with videos and activities, and not text-heavy, which communication design freshman Ari Solorio said he didn’t expect.

“I definitely do not think it was as boring as I thought it was going to be,” Solorio said. “It’s not fun to learn about date rape, but it’s better than reading text and then answering questions.”

As for improvements, speech pathology freshman Kallyn Huddleston said she feels students might absorb the information better in a classroom setting.

“A lot of people just click things and didn’t really read it,” Huddleston said. “They have facts that are really interesting but a lot of people just skipped over it.”

However, Huddleston said she feels safer on campus after learning the small indicators of sexual assault situations.

“I think that if everyone’s kind of, like, taking notice and really taking it to heart instead of brushing it off, then it will be a safer campus, and at least there will be people who interfere more,” Huddleston said.

The initial deadline for completing Haven training was Aug. 13. Mitchell said the Dean’s office is working with the information technology department to reach out to students who have not yet completed the training. Haven will remain open to all students through the MyUNT portal.

Featured Image: The interactive dashboard on the Haven training page. Haven is a program that teaches students about sexual assault prevention. Photo courtesy of Haven training page. 

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