On Oct. 1, Fairfield University announced that all returning undergraduates will be required to complete a new training program to teach students about sexual assault.
For the past six years, the University has utilized the program “Haven” for first-years to complete upon entrance into Fairfield. This new program, titled “Not Anymore”, focuses on essential topics such as sexual assault, domestic violence and bystander intervention.
Students are required to receive a 75 percent or above on the test provided. Even if students pass the pre-test, they still must complete the entire course. The program includes videos and multiple choice questions that aim to prepare students for college and life in general.
With sexual assault being especially prevalent in the news today, “Not Anymore” covers multiple topics, but focuses mainly on sexual assault. This program is assigned because of the impression that, now more than ever, it is vital for students to know not only how to prevent instances of sexual assault, but what to do in the case of one. Movements like #MeToo are in the spotlight due to the vast number of women who have decided to come forward after having survived sexual assault.
“Not Anymore” aims to educate students on how to handle situations that happen all too often in a college setting; however, many students are reluctant to complete the program.
Junior Sarah Whalen said, “I have very mixed feelings about this requirement. Although this is a really important topic to address on college campuses, I assumed it would be like the alcohol education course that I had taken. Those you can pretty much complete in one sitting and even though they are short, they get straight to the point. This one includes recordings of survivors talking of their experiences and these are extremely moving, while the test questions just make the course long and tedious.”
The program requires students to watch multiple videos from survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and alcohol abuse followed by a test for each.
“Being required to take a course and receive a certain percentage takes away from the actual ‘oh my God’ feelings that students have when watching the videos and I think this is a much more valuable way of getting the message across,” continued Whalen ’20.
Unlike previous years, students will be required to do the program every year they return to Fairfield. According to associate dean of students Dr. William Johnson Ph.D., “Moving forward with the 2019 and 2020 academic year, each year all undergraduate students will be required to complete ‘Not Anymore.’ There are two forms of the platform. There is one for the new students in the community and one that is called a refresher course program that all returning students will have to complete.”
“Through our review and our consultation with other universities across the country, we came to the conclusion that ‘Not Anymore’ was one of the better products out there and found that it was a cost effective means of providing a good education for students,” Johnson explained.
Some students felt that, after taking “Haven” upon arriving at Fairfield as a first-year, completing “Not Anymore” seemed tedious.
“As a nursing student with a large workload I feel like it does not make sense for me to have to take time out of my studying to do a program similar to one I have already completed. I do respect the importance of programs like these though,” said Nicole Spinelli ’20.
Returning students are required to finish the program by Nov. 16.