In light of recent events that have raised some serious concern about consent on higher ed campuses, it’s more critical now than ever to ensure that your students are fully informed about the proper rules and guidelines of consent. The results of a sexual assault occurring at a school can be devastating; the primary concern is, of course, always the students and the overshadowing fear they’ll be left with after such an incident occurs. The number one priority of any college or university should be protecting students from having to suffer from such a devastating blow to their sense of personal security.
In order to avoid joining the long list of schools who have recently dealt with an event involving rape or sexual assault, students on your campus must have a flawless understanding of both consent as a concept and of your institution’s zero-tolerance policy towards violation.
As soon as a student joins your campus community, he or she should immediately be provided with the education needed to make sure he or she is familiar with what counts as consent. While some of them are most likely already familiar with the concept, it’s possible that some of them aren’t – and each one of them must be before integrating onto your campus. Even if students do already know the information, getting all students together in a “new freshman class” type of assembly to discuss the topic shows them that you take the matter seriously. While the student assembly method is the classic way of handling this, it might not always be the best choice logistically. It can be hard to enforce and track attendance with such a large presentation, and it’s definitely no small feat to organize. One solution to simplify the entire process is to instead require the material to be learned online through a virtual course students must complete.
Consent and Respect by 3rd Millenium Classrooms is one option to ensure that each one of your students is exposed to the concepts of consent, sexual assault, dating violence and other related topics. Students can take the online course whenever it’s convenient for them by a deadline set by you, and they’ll be awarded a certificate of completion that will remain available to you for whenever you need it.
Symplicity is proud to partner with the It’s On Us campaign, which offers a pledge that anyone can sign promising that they will be an advocate for victims and an active fighter in the battle against sexual assault. Having students sign this is not legally binding, of course, but the psychological aspect of taking an individual pledge leaves students with an increased sense of accountability for their actions.
While education is absolutely crucial in the prevention of these types of incidents on campus, so is your clear demonstration of the fact that if an incident does occur, it will not be taken lightly. Of course, it is any administrator’s hope that no such issues will happen involving sexual assault or violence, but the reality of the situation is that it happens at nearly every school at least once. The way you handle it is equally as important as your prevention efforts – your entire team must act swiftly and seriously without a single misstep.
Cloud-based software solutions like Advocate play a huge role in facilitating this. Advocate allows students to safely report any issues or concerns, and it simplifies the workflow for the numerous departments and team members who will be involved in the process. Advocate keeps the process organized, with all communication and reporting capabilities in one place.
No student’s concern should become lost for months in a pile of paperwork. Solutions like Advocate allow you to address situations quickly and smoothly to ensure the best possible outcome.