The Bradley class of 2023 participated in mandatory anti-sexual assault training modules designed to reduce the instances of sexual assault on campus and encourage bystander intervention. To ensure participation, students who failed to comply had registration holds placed on their accounts.
“Sexual violence is an issue that affects so many community members and can happen to anyone,” said Anne Hollis, executive director of Bradley’s Center for Student Support services. “My hope is that these trainings will help empower people to recognize sexual violence, the impact it has on our campus and to stand up and help make positive changes for our community.”
The program was first launched at Bradley during last year’s Freshman Orientation, and will continue for at least the next two years. An evaluation before and after students take the program allows members to see its impact.
“The response from the 2018 class was very positive,” Hollis said. “We have not gotten [the] 2019 data yet … but I anticipate the results will be equally as good.”
Students completed the online trainings individually and then attended floor meetings with residential advisors to discuss Bradley policy.
“It’s a very smart idea,” said David Daye, freshman political science and organizational communication double major. “Because it allows us to get the information … without having to sit through more presentations, because there’s enough of that coming in as freshmen.”
The trainings were obtained through a company called Catharsis Productions, in a program called “U Got This!” The program consisted of three modules of roughly 20 minutes each.
The first, “U AGAINST THE WORD” discusses the negative societal messages that limit people’s ability to recognize sexual violence and offer support to victims.
The second, “U GOT TO KNOW WHEN IT’S WRONG” focuses on the role of alcohol in sexual assault, the differences between “good sex,” “bad sex” and rape, and also discusses domestic violence and stalking.
The third, “U GOT TO BE AN UPSTANDER,” encourages bystanders to intervene in situations involving sexual assault and suggests useful tactics for intervention as well as ways they can support a survivor.
Catharsis Productions designed the program to be interactive. For example, students were asked to name words one might use to describe a sexually active woman and compare those to words used to describe a sexually active man.
“The mechanism … is very responsive to all kinds of people,” Daye said. “Whatever your response … it was able to guide you in the right direction.”
The program offered tips on identifying these situations and reminded students that they can happen.
“I thought it was good to have some reassurance on some of the topics that they talked about,” Jack Flood, a freshman civil engineering major, said. “Rape does happen, so it was good to see what to look out for.”