The University of Nebraska-Lincoln launched a training program for students, faculty and staff to address sexual misconduct and ways to stop this behavior on campus.
The Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response Training was developed from a recommendation through the Campuswide Collaborative on Sexual Misconduct. All students are expected to complete the training by March 31, according to Jake Johnson, associate to the chancellor for the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.
He said everyone received an email from the University of Nebraska System Learning, Bridge, that gives you a link to the program, and it should take about 40-60 minutes to complete.
Roni Miller, senior double major in Spanish and political science and Association of the Students of the University of Nebraska president, participated in the comprehensive report as a co-chair for the Policies, Procedures and Practices sub-committee. Miller’s committee, along with two other student subcommittees, worked with the collaborative partners and found a strong need to establish training for everyone on campus.
“Training has been in the process of creation over these past couple of months and was released as a pilot program,” Miller said. “We want to see how the online program works for students especially, and hope to get some feedback before having stricter accountability mechanisms in place.”
Johnson said sexual misconduct training has always been expected of incoming students and staff. The new procedure is in partnership with Catharsis Productions, a Chicago-based educational company that offers programs and training to reduce interpersonal violence.
There are three different training courses, tailored to different roles at the university. Johnson said there are separate courses for undergraduate students, graduate and professional students and faculty and staff.
In the “U Got This!” course for undergraduate students, there are three modules that take about one hour total to complete. This course is focused on sexual assault, relationship violence, consent, stalking and campus resources.
The “U Got This! 2” is the program for graduate and professional students, and “Report = Support!” is the program for faculty and staff, both of which take 40 minutes and contain one module that covers similar topics of prevention strategies and response options.
Johnson said the presentation is given as a series of slide decks that are animated with narrators explaining the information to the participants throughout. Students will be asked questions as the course proceeds, and will receive feedback based on their responses.
“We view it as absolutely essential to creating a safer campus. We need people to recognize inappropriate conduct, including dating and domestic violence, harassment and stalking,” Johnson said. “If someone comes to you about experiencing sexual misconduct, this training will help you know how to respond and report in an effective way.”
Miller said that the virtual format is similar to the COVID-19 spring semester training students took. There will be videos within the modules and students will have interactions with the given content.
For students who don’t finish the course by the last day, UNL’s learning management systems will send automatic reminders daily. Until the training has been fulfilled, students who fail to comply will have a hold on their student registration for the upcoming semester.
Miller said that sexual misconduct is an important issue that still needs to be improved, and she hopes that training will serve as a stepping stone towards a larger plan of action.
“I think all students at UNL should have an equal understanding about the terminology, such as what consent is but also what consent looks like,” Miller said. “I believe there is potential with this training to improve the campus climate for all.”