Haven course to raise student awareness on sexual assault issues

 The newly implemented mandatory online course Haven raises awareness about sexual misconduct issues surrounding college campuses.

The course contains basic knowledge of topics such as sexual violence, rape, domestic violence and so forth, reminding students these things are, unfortunately, still an issue at hand.

Through interactive videos and questions, students are forced to listen to the information and hopefully learn something from it.

Even though the course may not be ideal, as most students can mindlessly go through the course, it does have good intentions and acts as an opportunity to educate students.

Many misconduct issues take place in scenarios where the perpetrator can play off sexual harassment as a joke. An offensive comment can quickly turn into “I’m just teasing” or “Loosen up,” leaving the victim in an uncomfortable position.

In a college environment, many students can fall into circumstances of inebriety, making it difficult to pass judgment on certain situations. This can quickly lead to date rape, but simply because there wasn’t a direct “no” to sex does not mean consent was granted to either party involved.

The reason for the course is to reflect situations like these and relay correct information about what sexual misconduct is and how it occurs to possible victims and even possible perpetrators.

The idea behind the course will benefit all individuals. Whether you are a freshman struggling to adjust to new surroundings or a senior looking ahead to stepping out into a world without curriculums and Greek life, preventing and protecting yourself against sexual harassment behaviors is a rule of thumb that never goes out of style.

As college students, it is easy to assume we understand the differences between right and wrong when it comes to sexual engagement, but the reality is that sometimes we don’t.

Sometimes, people even choose to ignore others’ rights, which is why this course is so important in order to increase awareness about the matter.

If students and faculty all understand what sexual misconduct is and how to prevent it, then we will stop condoning others’ behavior when it comes to sexual harassment or abuse. No matter who you are, if you witness sexual misconduct going on, then it is your business to do or say something about it.

Despite how Haven relays the sexual misconduct information, it has already successfully sparked conversation about its content, which is what awareness is about. Because the course is mandatory for all students, Haven is a mass outlet getting its point across quickly.

Sexual misconduct is not something that goes by unnoticed. At UCA, there are no disciplinary codes for standing up against sexual harassment. Perpetrators often have a sense of empowerment which they use to turn situations around on the victim, making fighting back appear useless. With UCA’s effective rules and regulations against sexual assault, including Haven, students are in safe hands.

Now that Haven is an addition to our academic agenda, the seriousness of sexual misconduct issues will be made known, and from here, can only come positivity.

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