Online Haven course promotes sexual assault, misconduct awareness

UCA implemented a mandatory online course for students called Haven to raise awareness about issues regarding sexual misconduct among college campuses.

EverFi, the company that hosts Haven, shows over 200 schools nationwide use the course among students, a number only expected to increase.Associate General Counsel Kandi Hughes oversees compliance matters at UCA, including Title XI and sexual harassment issues.

While both of these frameworks are discussed in class syllabi, most students glance over them. However, an online course requires students to be active rather than passive while learning important information.

“Haven is a research-based course that is designed to be user-friendly and engaging across all academic levels,” Hughes said. “The information found within the course is as applicable to the freshmen student as it is to the graduate student.”

The course also becomes more relevant to students because this is such a technology-driven community.

“Students receive email notification about the course and can complete the course among intervals,” Hughes said.

As students check Facebook and Twitter interchangeably, why not open a tab and educate themselves about the severity of sexual mistreatment, too?

Whether or not students want to take the course, they must pay attention to the training videos and answer questions.

This helps transmit the information to the student, no matter what the circumstances.

Since the course is mandatory, students who do not complete it will be in violation of a university-mandated policy and will be subject to disciplinary action.

“We anticipate placing registration holds on students beginning with the 2015- 2016 academic year for non-compliance,” Hughes said.

However, students must realize that though no registration holds will be placed on them if they do not complete the course this semester, they will still be subject to discipline.

Hughes said in this first year of training, UCA wants students to adjust to a course geared toward sexual misconduct prevention and awareness.

The training course provides students with what they need to know in order to prevent sexual misconduct, such as sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

“The ultimate goal of the course is to bring awareness to healthy student intervention to undermine the sense among perpetrators that their peers condone their unhealthy attitudes and behaviors,” Hughes said.

Many perpetrators assume this kind of behavior can be turned into a joke or taken lightly. Haven provides insight about the seriousness of this attitude.

Hughes also said the training is beneficial because it provides the university with confidential data analysis in the form of a campus climate survey, giving critical data that allows the university to continue making necessary changes to the program, class discussions and awareness strategies to make the campus a safe place.

Haven guarantees some extent of awareness being raised through the use of engaging students, requiring them to listen and react by answering questions.

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