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Campus Climate Surveys: A tool for creating anti-racist policies and procedures
Posted by On Thursday, November 12, 2015

Articles in the Chronicle, Huffington Post, Washington Post, and many others have detailed racism at colleges and universities. Student Activism has put racial microaggressions, incidents of blatant racism, and institutionalized racism into the media and in many cases has already led to action by administration.

In 2013, the Black Student Union at the University of Michigan started the #BBUM, or Being Black at U of M, campaign to bring awareness to the experiences of students of color on campus. This campaign received national attention and coincided with a list of demands to administration for improving the campus climate for students of color, and specifically Black and African American students, on campus.

Similar events have taken place at the University of Missouri (Mizzou) and Yale and student solidarity seems to be spreading to campuses around the country. While the situations at Mizzou and Yale have played out differently, the student activists are responding to similar frustrations with ongoing racism that has been left unaddressed by the school. Students are getting fed up with their institutions claiming “diversity” and “inclusivity” when their lived experiences tell them otherwise. Students are getting fed up with leaders not taking racism on campus seriously. And students are getting fed up with acts of blatant racism receiving no repercussion.

What does campus racism have to do with the campus climate around sexual assault? A lot. Campus climate is holistic in that it defines how students experience their time at a school. However, it has many different facets. Lately, we have been focusing on campus climate and how it relates to sexual assault (including sexual violence, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, and dating/relationship violence). The racial climate on campuses definitely plays into how students perceive the climate around sexual assault.

If a student does not feel included, safe, or welcomed on campus, if a student does not feel supported by administrators, if a student does not feel a sense of community, if a student does not see faces who look like them in positions that matter, if a student is struggling every day just to survive in a space that is stacked against them, what is to make them want to report? Or even if they want to, what is to make them feel safe reporting?

Similarly, if the perpetrator of an assault was a student of color, reporting can be an especially complicated decision. If reporting means giving another reason for people of color to look like criminals or perpetrators of violence, survivors might be hesitant to report due to the potential harm to their community – perhaps the only community they feel a part of on campus.

So what does all of this mean? Sexual assault education, response, and policies are not one-size-fits-all. A survivor-centered approach needs to take into consideration the unique experiences of each survivor, including how their culture, community, and identities intersect with that experience. The Department of Justice suggests that a “culturally relevant, survivor centered approach” needs to have the following components:

  • Is grounded in the experiences of all survivors on campus. This requires the campus to understand not only the dynamics of the crimes, but the nuances that each crime presents and how these crimes are experienced by diverse groups of survivors on campus.
  • Takes into account cultural contexts in order to better understand the survivor’s experience and how this may affect such actions like a survivor’s decision not to report or seek services.
  • Is flexible and adaptable to the needs of survivors so they are not re-traumatized by the campus’s efforts.
  • Prevents the creation of processes, protocols and systems that support institutional interests over survivor’s needs.

At the 2015 NASPA conference, a session titled “Considering Students of Color in Sexual Assault Prevention” by Luoluo Hong, Mark Houlemard, Ross Wantland, and Patricia Nguyen discussed using a social justice framework when thinking about sexual assault on college campuses. To do this, it is imperative that administrators recognize that racism and sexism are “interlocking systems of oppression” and doing anti-sexism work also means doing anti-racism work. One of my main takeaways from this session was when Hong suggested replacing the word “students” in your sexual assault policies with “students of color.” And then ask yourself: Does the policy still apply? Is it realistic and comprehensive? Are students of color actually considered in the voices of victims and perpetrators? Most importantly, how is your sexual assault prevention work anti-racist?

How does this relate to Climate Surveys? As we previously wrote, Sexual Assault Campus Climate Surveys are being considered a “best practice response to campus sexual assault.” One of the most beneficial usages for climate survey data is being able to sort and filter it based on demographics like class standing, gender, sexual orientation, and race. When you administer your campus climate survey, pay special attention to the perceptions and experiences of students of color. Compare the experiences of white students and students of color for questions about reporting sexual assaults, perceptions of campus safety, and bystander behaviors. Reporting numbers have been low across campuses (2-5%) when participants were asked if they reported the assault through official school systems. This data needs to be cross-tabulated with different demographics to isolate data about how race impacts perceptions and experiences with sexual assault. Climate surveys are a great tool to gauge racial disparities on your campus and can lead to creating policies and procedures that are anti-racist.


Campus Climate Survey Results: AAU Releases Aggregate Data about Sexual Assault
Posted by On Monday, September 21, 2015

Today, the Association of American Universities released aggregate data from the climate survey it conducted at 27 of its member campuses. The results reinforced some of the findings from other campus climate surveys, but also revealed startling new information about how students respond that could inform campus’s prevention programs.

The AAU report says that “the primary goal of the Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct was to provide…information to inform policies to prevent and respond to sexual assault and misconduct.” They survey assessed the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault, the perceptions of risk, the knowledge of resources, and the likelihood of action.

Just over 150,000 students participated in the survey, giving a response rate of around 19%. When students were offered a $5 Amazon gift card, their response rate was 9.3% higher than when they were offered drawing entry or no incentive.  The response rate for females was 7.3% higher than for males. Results varied across the 27 campuses who administered the AAU survey, and it is expected that many schools will release their individual data as well. Although the response rate was lower than desired, this survey gives us one of the largest data pools of its kind.

Overall, there are some findings that are consistent across all campuses.

  • Results confirmed the widely cited statistic that “one in five” women will experience sexual assault while at college.
  • Transgender, Genderqueer, and Gender Nonconforming students are more likely to experience sexual assault or misconduct across all categories.
  • About one quarter of students reported feeling very or extremely knowledgeable about where to report sexual assault.
  • More than 75% of sexual assault cases were never reported using official systems of reporting.
  • Males are more optimistic than females that someone who reports a sexual assault will be supported by their peers.
  • The most common reason for not reporting sexual assault was that it was “not considered serious enough,” with high numbers also in feeling “embarrassed or ashamed” and “did not think anything would be done.”
  • Over a quarter of senior females reported experiencing sexual contact by force or incapacitation since entering college.

Some of the most interesting results of the findings related to perception of risk and bystander behaviors. Around 20% believe that sexual assault is very or extremely problematic on their campus, but only 5% thought that it was very likely that they would experience it. Over half of students who had witnessed someone acting sexually violent or harassing said they did nothing to intervene. Over three quarters of students who had witnessed a drunk person heading for a sexual encounter said they did nothing to intervene.

What does this mean for student affairs professionals and college administrators? There are a number of action-steps that can be taken from the information gathered through this survey.

  • Sexual assault and misconduct are massive problems on college campuses, and not isolated to individual institutions who are in the media.
  • Even when people believe sexual assault is a rampant problem on their campus, they are unlikely to believe it could happen to them. Students need to be given a realistic understanding about the context of sexual assault on college campuses.
  • Although very few students reported through official means, most students told a friend. Students need the resources and tools to be able to help friends who have experienced sexual assault or misconduct.
  • Students didn’t report for a number of reasons, but most frequently because they did not consider it serious enough. If schools want accurate reporting numbers, they need to send a clear message of what is included in sexual assault or misconduct policies.
  • Most students did not intervene even when they noticed a potential sexual assault. Bystander intervention efforts need to focus both on recognizing what constitutes sexual assault or misconduct and also build motivation for intervention, give students the tools they need, and develop the skills and confidence to intervene.

If you’d like to learn more about climate surveys and discuss ways that you can develop your own or use the aggregate data from the AAU survey to inform your campus programming, join us on Tuesday, October 13th for a webinar with Jessica Ladd from Sexual Health Innovations and Peter Novak from the University of San Francisco. Register at http://bit.ly/1KP34ZT.

To view the entire 288-page report, go here.

To view the survey tool developed by Westat, go here.

To view the fact-sheet summary, go here.

 

 


Are Climate Surveys Part of Title IX/Clery Act Compliance?
Posted by On Wednesday, September 9, 2015

On April 29, 2014, the White House Task Force issued its “Not Alone” report with an overview of how to plan and conduct a campus sexual assault climate survey, as well as a sample survey based on best practices. The report urges “schools to show they’re serious about the problem by conducting the survey next year.”

In a May 2015 article, “Climate Surveys Are Coming,” readers were told, “The task force’s suggestion that schools conduct climate surveys is one of several signals that surveys soon will be required as part of a Title IX/Clery Act compliance program.”

On the same day that the White House report came out, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued the guidance document, “Questions & Answers on Title IX and Sexual Violence,” which listed conducting climate surveys as one of the ways to “limit the effects of the alleged sexual violence and prevent its recurrence,” if a victim requests confidentiality and does not want formal action taken against the alleged perpetrator.

Other signals that campus climate surveys soon may be mandated include OCR agreements resulting from Title IX investigations and compliance reviews that require schools to conduct surveys, including: Michigan State University, Ohio State University, University of Montana, Southern Methodist University, Lehigh University, Harvard Law School, Lyon College, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, University of Dayton, Cedarville University, Glenville State College, Kentucky Wesleyan College, State University of New York, and Rockford University.

Instead of waiting for federal laws or Title IX guidance that mandate climate surveys, some states have already enacted laws requiring them:

  • Maryland House Bill 571 requires institutions of higher education to “DEVELOP AN APPROPRIATE SEXUAL ASSAULT CAMPUS CLIMATE SURVEY, USING NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED BEST PRACTICES FOR RESEARCH AND CLIMATE SURVEYS,” and submit to the Maryland Higher Education Commission on or before June 1, 2016 (and every two years thereafter), a report aggregating the data collected by the survey, including:
        1. Types of misconduct
        2. Outcome of each complaint
        3. Disciplinary actions taken by institutions
        4. Accommodations made to students
        5. Number of reports involving alleged nonstudent perpetrators
  • The New YorkEnough is Enough” law signed on July 7, 2015, requires all New York colleges and universities to conduct campus climate surveys at least every other year. The survey requirement goes into effect on July 7, 2016.
  • The State of Washington passed a new law (SSB 5518.SL), requiring state universities, the regional universities, The Evergreen State College, the community colleges, and the technical colleges to conduct a campus climate survey and report their findings to the governor and legislature by December 31, 2016.
  • Louisiana passed a new law (SB 255) which provides, “When funding is made available, each public postsecondary education institution shall administer an annual, anonymous sexual assault climate survey to its students.”
  • In addition, the Massachusetts legislature is considering Bill S. 650, which would create a task force to develop a sexual assault climate survey to be administered by colleges and universities selected by the task force.

Meanwhile, Boston University launched a student survey in March 2015 (see FAQs about BU’s survey) and, while not required by law, the University of California conducted a campus climate survey on its campuses in Spring 2013 (see results and FAQs). Previously, we’ve reported on published data from other climate surveys, what experts say, and how to get started.

With Congress back in session, the Campus Accountability and Safety Act may have gained some momentum from the July 29th hearing before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. Testimony received at that hearing included strong support from the Association of American Universities for campus climate surveys, pointing out that it is important that schools directly or indirectly control survey administration so that it addresses the unique circumstances of individual campuses.

We will continue to watch this closely as the patchwork quilt of climate survey requirements continues to unfold. We will also be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, October 13th with Peter Novak from University of San Francisco and Jessica Ladd from Sexual Health Innovations about climate surveys and data.  Follow our twitter account @CampusClarity for the link to register as the date gets closer.


A Parent’s Perspective on Campus Sexual Assault
Posted by On Monday, August 24, 2015

This piece is a guest post by Sheri Heitker Dixon, the founder of Keep Her Safe, an organization that helps parents and prospective students assess an institution’s attitudes and programs aimed at preventing sexual violence: “Our strategy is to make ‘safe from sexual assault’ a significant college selection criterion for parents and students, just like location, curriculum, cost, and other considerations.” Following on our recent webinar on involving parents in campus prevention efforts and Dr. Novak’s follow up post, “Why Parents Matter,” Heitker Dixon offers a parent’s perspective on what she is looking for in a school and what she would like to hear from campus leaders.

A Huffington Post headline forced me to think differently about sending my daughter to college. In February 2014, the college search was just beginning to show up on our radar. Most of the talk about college came from her high school guidance counselor and teachers with a focus on grades and encouragement to be involved in activities. We had talked casually about where she might go. A close friend promoted his alma mater, Duke. Her Florida Prepaid Tuition account assured a public Florida school would be completely paid for. There was the allure of urban schools in Boston and New York. We talked about her interests: neuroscience and theater. Even as a high school freshman, she was adamant that her hometown schools were not under consideration.

There are lots of questions to explore when making this decision. The question I wasn’t prepared for was the one asked in that Huffington Post headline: Why Are So Many Boys Leaving High School Thinking Rape Is Funny? The headline was jarring enough but the content of the article was horrifying to this mother of a teenage girl. The frequently cited, “1 in 5 college women will be assaulted” statistic was accompanied by a litany of incidents which were deeply misogynistic and dehumanizing in their objectification of female students.

I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of sending my daughter into this environment. I worried some of these boys were already in her circle. While the issue of campus sexual assault gained much traction with the White House Task Force, Congress, student groups and national sexual assault organizations creating solutions and demanding change, I couldn’t find support for parents. All the groups indicated that parents need to be involved but there was no vehicle to support that.

So I created my own protocol and founded Keep Her Safe to mobilize parents to press college and university administrations to make their campuses safe from sexual assault. Our family is looking at one of our largest purchases ever with a 4-year degree ranging from $50,000 to $250,000. I insist that my daughter’s safety be offered as part of the college package. Other parents are joining me in leveraging our purchasing power by using the Keep Her Safe Parent Toolkit to guide us through the process of assessing a school and then communicating to its administration that safe from sexual assault is a major selection criterion we are considering when choosing a school with our children.

Over the past couple of years this issue is gaining momentum, and rarely a day passes without some piece of campus sexual assault news. Much of the emphasis is on how schools handle sexual assault complaints. But as a parent, I’m much more concerned about what is being done to prevent sexual violence on campus. If my daughter is filing a complaint with a Title IX coordinator, that is a massive failure on the part of her school.

Of course, it’s important that complaints are handled effectively, perpetrators are punished, and victims services are available. But, media reports make clear that dealing with the aftermath of sexual assault is messy and difficult so it makes sense to devote resources to prevention.

I and the parents I work with want an environment where sexual assault is prevented. We also want to know administrators take our concerns seriously. I recently, have been heartened that some administrators are working to involve parents in prevention efforts. I attended the Campus Clarity webinar “Involving Parents in Sexual Assault Prevention” and read the follow-up article by Dr. Peter Novak “Why Parents Matter: New Partners in Sexual Assault Prevention.” The discussion included research to bolster the impact parents can have and provided ideas for getting them involved.

Just as the administrations are looking for parents to exert their influence on students, we are looking to the colleges and universities where we send our children to maximize their resources. The schools are uniquely poised to address this issue with education and training. We are looking for programs that:

  • Effectively conduct bystander training using processes with research based efficacy
  • Deliver the training in a variety of ways that may include combinations of online training, games and videos
  • Reinforce teachings with in-person sessions
  • Make training mandatory to all students
  • Discuss alcohol and drug use
  • Educate about affirmative consent
  • Deliver ongoing training throughout the year and to all levels
  • Have specific programs targeting the groups which are disproportionately involved in incidents of sexual violence—fraternities and athletes

Almost daily, postcards with photos of gorgeous campuses and happy, engaged students arrive for my daughter. She is getting excited. I’m feeling dread wondering about the dark side of the beautiful buildings and lush landscaping.


Webinar: Involving Parents in Sexual Assault Prevention
Posted by On Wednesday, July 22, 2015

We hosted a fantastic webinar today with University of San Francisco’s Dr. Barbara Thomas, Director of Counseling and Psychological Services and Dr. Peter Novak, Vice Provost of Student Life.  Dr. Thomas and Dr. Novak shared insights around engaging parents in sexual assault prevention and alcohol/drug use risk reduction. You can view the whole webinar below.

University of San Francisco aims to engage parents in prevention work from when they first consider USF as an option for their child’s education. This includes talking about sexual assault and on campus education efforts, including Think About It, at admissions events. Dr. Novak and Dr. Thomas also encouraged schools to use their Annual Security Report as a resource at admissions events and when informing parents of the school’s programming. From their experience, common questions that parents want to know include “Is your school under investigation for Title IX violations?”, “What are your prevention programs and are they required?”, and “How many reports of sexual assault do you receive every year?”.  These questions are playing a role in how students and their families make decisions about college, and so it is important to be proactive by having effective programming and transparent communication around sexual assault and alcohol/drug use on their campus.

Resources referenced during the webinar include;

We hope to continue the conversation about and share resources on involving parents in prevention efforts.


[Free Webinar] Involving Parents in Sexual Assault Prevention
Posted by On Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What are best practices for including parents in our discussions around sexual assault, and how might they be invited to be a part of the solution?

Join us for a free webinar with the University of San Francisco’s (USF) Dr. Peter Novak, Vice Provost of Student Life, and Dr. Barbara Thomas, Senior Director of Counseling and Psychological Services, as they discuss how you can support parents and how parents can support your school’s prevention efforts just in time for fall semester. (Register here.)

Tuesday, July 21st

11 am PT/ 2 pm ET

In this webinar, you will learn about

  • new research that suggests parental impact on students
  • a suggested process for communicating with other departments
  • how to support parents through the Title IX process

Additionally, you will receive resources from non-profits that can be added to your website and a sample letter sent to all parents of incoming USF students. (Register here.)

Communicating effectively with parents is an often overlooked tools in prevention education. Dr. Novak and Dr. Thomas will discuss best practice and provide resources that you can use to prepare for this fall’s incoming class. Dr. Novak sends an annual information sheet and letter to all parents/families of incoming USF students around issues of safety and sexual assault. Dr. Thomas and her staff are among the many resources that are offered, free of charge, if parents wish to consult with a professional to find out how to have a conversation with their student.

The webinar is ideal for

  • Vice Presidents of Student Affairs
  • Vice Presidents of Admissions and Enrollment
  • Deans of Students
  • Conduct Officers
  • Counseling and Psychological Services
  • Admissions Teams
  • Title IX coordinators and teams

Space is limited, so register now for the webinar. Register here.


Weekly Roundup
Posted by On Friday, June 5, 2015

The University of San Francisco adopts an innovative new reporting tool, an in-depth look at the facts of false rape reports, and a look back at gains made by student activists over the past year.

USF Launches Online Reporting Tool Callisto

A while back we reported on a new online reporting tool, Callisto, whose proponents believed could dramatically improve the experience of victim/survivors who wanted to report their assaults. Now, for the first time, a university has made plans to use Callisto to allow its students to report sexual violence. The school in question is the University of San Francisco, an institution which has taken the lead on sexual violence prevention in the past, notably collaborating with CampusClarity to produce the first Think About It program. According to USF Vice Provost of Student Life Peter Novak, Callisto can “really change culture” for reporting on the USF campus. The app, which was developed by nonprofit Sexual Health Innovations, has numerous features that could be helpful for a victim/survivor of sexual assault, including the ability to make a time stamped report that they can choose to send in later or if the same perpetrator is named in a subsequent report.

The Cold, Hard Facts of False Rape Reports

It is sometimes claimed that false rape reports could represent anywhere from 1.5% to 90% of the total number of reported rapes. While that range—all but meaningless in its width—may have once represented the extent of our knowledge about the prevalence and nature of false rape reports, today numerous studies have provided a much clearer picture of the nature of this particular problem. This piece from Vox takes a look at studies that took a more rigorous approach to determining whether a report was false or not, either by looking at reports from police who had been trained on the definition of a false report or by investigating the facts of a case to determine whether the evidence did indeed suggest a false report. These studies, taken together, support the growing consensus amongst those who follow issues of sexual violence that false reports account for between 2% and 8% of total reports of rape. They also reveal some interesting, potentially important trends in those false reports. Nearly 80% of false reports “fit the definition of an ‘aggravated rape’”—one involving a weapon, multiple assailants, or injury to the victim/survivor. Almost 50% of false reports described the perpetrator as a stranger as opposed to an acquaintance. Most reports were filed within a day of the alleged incident. According to one researcher, false rape reports were more likely to provide a “clear and coherent” timeline of the attack. These facts suggest that individuals who make false rape reports tend to stick to a narrative based on common misperceptions about how most rape occurs. It also suggests that many of the features of a report traditionally seen as potential “red flags” of a false claim—a delayed report, a confused and confusing story, situations involving intoxications or perpetrators known by the victim/survivor—may in fact be just the opposite.

Big Gains for Activists in 2015

Despite the numerous stories we cover in this space about the work that still needs to be done, there have been real successes over the past few years for those working to prevent campus sexual violence. This piece from the Huffington Post covers notable successes of a very important player in this fight—student activists. These include efforts to improve campus safety and school policies, the successes of the “It’s On Us” campaign, and reforms made by schools at the behest of student activists.


Free Webinar: Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus with Michelle Issadore
Posted by On Thursday, April 23, 2015

Next week, on Wednesday, April 29, we will host our second free webinar. Michelle Issadore, M.Ed., will talk about strategies “Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus.” You can register now to reserve your place.

Issadore is the Executive Director of the School and College Organization for Prevention Educators (SCOPE). She works with schools, colleges, and community organizations nationwide to assess and improve their strategic prevention efforts, as well as research and understand best practice initiatives.

Issadore’s presentation is a timely reminder of the fast approaching July 1st deadline when the Campus SaVE Act regulations take effect. The Campus SaVE Act requires colleges and universities to offer student and employee education programs “to prevent dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking.”  (You can find our full breakdown of the Campus SaVE Act requirements on our blog.) This webinar will helps schools put together their prevention programs for the 2015-2016 academic year. Register for the free webinar now to reserve your place.

For many colleges and universities, implementing prevention programs seems like a daunting task, especially given the complexity of the issues and the need to coordinate and engage various stakeholders. Indeed, one of our takeaways from the NASPA conference this year was the need to bring together different prevention efforts and initiatives on campus. Similarly, last year, the Centers for Disease Control published its brief, “Connecting the Dots,” on the links between different forms of violence in order to help schools “coordinate and integrate responses to violence in a way that recognizes these connections.”

Our discussion next week will help address these pressing concerns for schools considering how to train a diverse audience on a breadth of issues around sexual and gender-based violence. During our 45-minute webinar, Michelle Issadore will answer questions surrounding sexual assault prevention strategies on campus and what institutions can do to overcome challenges associated with implementing widespread initiatives.

Michelle Issadore will specifically address the following questions:

  • What are some ways schools can achieve a community-level approach?
  • How can departments work together to create consistent messaging?
  • What role does compliance now play in prevention programming?

Even if your institution currently has training solutions in place, Michelle’s experience and expertise will prove invaluable to anyone looking to enhance their efforts.

Register for the free webinar now to reserve your place .


Ball State Launches Think About It
Posted by On Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Campus SaVE ActSchools often ask us about the experiences of other institutions using Think About It. They’re interested in learning how other schools implement the program, what incentives they use, and what feedback they get from students. This information helps them plan their own strategy to bring Think About It onto their campuses.

The Ball State Daily recently ran an in depth article about their launch of Think About It. The entire article is worth reading for anyone currently using or even thinking about our program. But below are some highlights.

According to the article, 86.7% of incoming freshman at Ball State completed the program in 2014. Amazingly, Ball State didn’t use any incentives besides sending weekly reminders.

As readers of this blog know, we designed Think About It with students for students. A critical part of the process was soliciting student input through numerous focus groups. After all, students have to be engaged in order to learn effectively.

Indeed, the student response was overwhelmingly positive according to Tom Gibson, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, who was quoted in the article:

“I think the fact that the course allows students to provide feedback on their experience taking the course was very helpful and reaffirming for us,” Gibson said. “By and large the majority of the students who completed the course said, ‘I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t think I would find this useful, but you know what? It actually was. So thank you.’ We knew this was the right thing to do, but we didn’t know how well it would be received.”

According to Ball State, one of the advantages of an online program is that helps administrators deliver a single, unified and easily tracked experience to all their students.

Katie Slabaugh, Title IX coordinator for student affairs, said because of the way the program is designed, students aren’t able to just turn it on and walk away; they actually have to be engaged in it.

“The impact of this is that you know more than 85 percent of your new students have completed the course, whereas something that this residence hall may offer to this group of students is not necessarily the equivalent,” Slabaugh said. “This has the benefit of one unified piece of the student union.”

Of course, a one off program is not enough to create culture change on any campus. Federal regulations as well as pedagogical theory recommend that learning be “ongoing.” Students need the opportunity to revisit and deepen their understanding of key learning points. To this end, we offer follow up courses to the main course. Ball State is taking advantage of these resources by asking students to complete our main course and a shorter follow up course, providing students with an extended experience.

We also have numerous offline resources, such as workshops and posters that schools can use to bring the CampusClarity program from online to on campus. As the article also points out our partner on this project, the University of San Francisco, also continues to develop resources that expand the program.

“University of San Francisco is currently working on a Talk About It and a Do Something About It campaign, just trying to create more awareness and get student involvement in things like bystander intervention and really trying to create life-long awareness and involvement in causes like this,” said Deeqa Mohamed, a student peer educator at University of San Francisco.

As Mohamed says, the key here is to instill in students a life-long awareness and involvement in these issues.

After all, the years between 18 and 25 constitute a critical developmental stage, called “emerging adulthood.” In this stage, young men and women experience new levels of autonomy and experiment with possible life directions. Some educators even claim that the emotional and social development that college students undergo during this period exceeds their intellectual development.

By helping students at the start of their college careers, we can have a lasting impact on their lives.

 


Free Webinar with Dr. Novak
Posted by On Monday, March 16, 2015

Peter NovakTomorrow, we will be hosting a free webinar with Dr. Peter Novak, the Vice Provost for Student Life at the University of San Francisco. If you haven’t already done so be sure to register today.

During this 45-minute webinar, Dr. Novak will answer questions about how he and USF built and deployed their NASPA Gold Excellence award-winning Campus SaVE Act Training Program for students, faculty, and staff, and overcame challenges associated with deploying the campus-wide initiative.

Dr. Novak has an extensive background in Student Life with considerable experience as an academic and administrator in social justice issues. He received his doctorate in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from Yale University. In addition to his doctorate, he holds an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater and an MA in English from Loyola University Chicago.

At Yale Dr. Novak served as Dean of Trumbull College , on the Provost’s Committee on Resources for Students and Employees with Disabilities, and on the Fund for Lesbian and Gay Studies. He is also a founding chair and tenured full professor in the Performing Arts and Social Justice program at the University of San Francisco. His research focuses on diversity and language, LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS dramatic literature, and Deaf culture and American Sign Language translation.

In December 2011, dissatisfied with the online training USF was offering incoming students, Dr. Novak approached LawRoom to build Think About It, an online training program for incoming students that addressed campus sexual assault and substance abuse. Dr. Novak had been impressed by the quality of LawRoom’s online harassment training programs developed for faculty and staff, and he felt LawRoom would be a valuable partner in creating a cutting edge, engaging online program on substance abuse and sexual violence for incoming students.

The collaboration brought together LawRoom’s expertise in legal compliance and online training with USF’s experience handling the unique social challenges students face in their transition to college life. As a result of their work, LawRoom developed CampusClarity, a service of LawRoom that is dedicated to creating training solutions for the higher education community.

USF and CampusClarity worked together extensively in the creation of the course. They conducted focus groups and user panels with students to refine the voice and tone of the course and make sure scenarios reflected realistic situations. Additionally, numerous department representatives and programs at USF, including the Gender and Sexualities Center and Health Promotions, helped develop learning objectives and course content. During the development process, USF and CampusClarity also hosted a conference with faculty and staff from 30 universities in order to prepare the course for a diverse group of campuses.

Since the development of Think About It, USF and CampusClarity have continued to collaborate on other initiatives and projects, such as the Talk About It community, a collection of resources administrators can use to implement ongoing programming on their campuses around the issues of sexual violence and alcohol abuse.

Tomorrow, Dr. Novak will talk in more detail about other initiatives he’s implemented at USF. Among other things, he will talk about balancing training with other priorities in Student life and how to create an effective program with limited staff, limited time, and limited budget.

His talk will be valuable for schools looking for ways to improve their current programs, and for schools that are just developing their training programs.

Dr. Novak will also discuss practical solutions for going beyond SaVE Act compliance, including:

- Deploying a campus-wide training program prior to the June deadline.
- How to help ensure adoption of the program by students and faculty.
- On-going educational programming based on institutional data.

Please go to our registration page to sign up for our free webinar if you haven’t already.