The Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) influences UI education efforts through a federal grant and associated training and education requirements. OVW endorses approaching education in three phases: pre-orientation, orientation, and post-orientation. Pre-orientation is concerned with incoming students prior to arriving on campus. Orientation is concerned with incoming students after their arrival, but before classes begin. Post-orientation occurs after classes start and includes education activities reaching students throughout their academic career.
Prevention and education for students in 2017: Pre-orientation education
The UI’s education efforts begin prior to students arriving on campus with a mandatory online education program. All incoming undergraduate and transfer students are required to complete an online sexual misconduct prevention course called Every Choice. The Every Choice program is one part of a larger course called Success at Iowa. Students receive two credit hours for completing the entire Success at Iowa course during their first semester at The University of Iowa. The Every Choice program is an interactive online program that is designed to help students protect themselves and others from sexual assault, harassment, stalking, and dating/domestic violence. The program also focuses on bystander intervention skills to help students feel empowered to speak up and intervene to prevent potentially violent situations from occurring. All incoming graduate and professional students are required to take Not Anymore, an online course which educates students on gender-based violence and discrimination and bystander intervention. Students who do not complete the mandatory program have a hold placed on their registration until they complete the course.
The Every Choice and Not Anymore programs are coordinated by Student Health and Wellness. In addition to coordinating program implementation, monitoring completion, and providing support to students, Student Health and Wellness facilitates an alternate program option for students who are unable to complete the online course due to personal experience with the issues.
The Anti-Violence Plan identifies parents and guardians as key partners in supporting the university’s prevention efforts. Parents and guardians have the opportunity to participate in pre-orientation sessions related to supporting their incoming students. The Ensuring Student Success: Parents as Partners session is presented by the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Health and Wellness, and RVAP. It focuses on providing parents with strategies to engage their student in difficult conversations about alcohol, sexual assault, and other aspects of college life that impact a student’s ability to be successful. In 2017, the Ensuring Student Success: Parents as Partners session was offered 9 times and reached a total of 2,284 parents.
Completion rates of online education program
|Every Choice Refresher||427||471||90.7%|
|Not Anymore Refresher||134||148||90.5%|
|Every Choice Refresher||5971||6107||97.7%|
|Not Anymore Refresher||2019||2182||92.5%|
After taking Every Choice:
- 94% of students agreed that interpersonal violence is a significant problem on college campuses, compared with 87% before taking the course.
- 94% of students understood the approaches they would want to use to intervene against interpersonal violence, compared with 77% before taking the course.
- 93% of students agreed or strongly agreed they possessed the tools to protect themselves against inter-personal violence, compared with 83% before taking the course.
After taking Not Anymore:
- 95% of students agreed that, within their abilities, they were responsible for stopping interpersonal violence, compared with 90% before taking the course.
- 93-94% of students said that they were likely or very likely to intervene against a form of interpersonal violence, compared with 74-87% before taking the course.
- 92-95% of students agreed that interpersonal violence was a moderate or big program on campuses in the U.S., compared with 64-83% before taking the course.
Prevention and education for students in 2017: Orientation education
All incoming undergraduate students are required to attend the CHOOSE session during On Iowa! During the session, students expand on what they learned in the pre-orientation online program, particularly on the topic of bystander intervention, by viewing a video illustrating various problematic situations staged on campus to show students intervening to make campus safer and more welcoming. This session engages students in a variety of hands on and interactive learning experiences to better enhance their skills, knowledge, and resources surrounding topics of gender-based violence and discrimination as they enter the University of Iowa. In fall 2016, this session was offered earlier in the week to maximize attendance; a commitment was made under the 2016 Anti-Violence Plan to re-tain the schedule change. In 2017, WRAC collaborated with On Iowa! staff to train over 300 On Iowa! captains and leaders to deliver the CHOOSE work-shop to all incoming first-year students.
All incoming athletes receive bystander intervention training as a part of a required Athletics Transition Seminar. Individual teams can receive additional training on topics of gender-based violence and discrimination upon their request. In 2017, WRAC collaborated with Athletics staff to facilitate work-shops with a total of 116 incoming athletes.
In addition to regular orientation activities, international students participate in orientation facilitated by International Students and Scholars Services (ISSS). In 2017, ISSS invited OSMRC and Monsoon Asians and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity to facilitate a workshop titled “Setting Sail to Healthy Relationships” to incoming international students. The 30-minute workshop teaches students to recognize gender-based violence and know where to get help for themselves or a friend. In 2017, OSMRC and Monsoon facilitated 4 workshops to approximately 120 incoming students.
Prevention and education for students in 2017: Post-orientation education
After orientation, students have opportunities to participate in events related to the prevention of sexual misconduct, dating violence, and stalking. Post-orientation events are varied in their format, and include workshops, awareness raising campaigns, curriculum infusion, and community events. Collaboration between the departments responsible for providing education ensures that our messaging is aligned and that our programs build upon pre-orientation and orientation programming.
Education workshops have been developed by providers on campus based on current best practices and campus needs. Workshop providers start with a standard plan and customize as needed for the host organization. Campus groups request workshops through the Ending Violence at Iowa site. Assessments are collected at the conclusion of each workshop to measure effectiveness and inform future programming.
Many workshops are scheduled at the request of a campus group that has reached out directly to the workshop provider or made a request through the Ending Violence at Iowa site. Ongoing collaboration across the campus community expands opportunities for campus partners to host these educational events. In 2017, groups that hosted events included Fraternity and Sorority Life, Athletics, Orientation Services, International Students and Scholars Services, Iowa Edge, the Department of Rhetoric, the Department of Health and Human Physiology, and the College of Dentistry.
Curriculum infusion allows prevention educators to collaborate with faculty to deliver gender-based violence prevention content across the curriculum, challenging students to evaluate their beliefs about gender-based violence. In 2017, curriculum infusion in 3 classes reached 77 students. Content was provided by WRAC, RVAP, and UCS.
Campaigns, community events, and information booklets
Campaigns play an important role in changing social norms by sharing basic facts with members of the community and raising awareness around issues of gender-based violence and discrimination.
- RVAP and WRAC organized six community campaigns or events to raise awareness about the dynamics of sexual assault and provided information about local hotlines and resources.
- RVAP, WRAC, and Student Health and Wellness hosted information tables at multiple campus events to promote their services and provide information about responding to someone who discloses being a victim/survivor.
- RVAP recruited a Raise the Bar intern to build relationships with local bars to offer the Raise the Bar curriculum, which trains local bar staff on sexual assault dynamics, perpetrator red flags, the use of alcohol as a weapon, and bystander intervention skills with the goal of developing a coordinated response to prevent sexual assault.
- Peer leaders trained by WRAC and RVAP co-facilitated workshops on campus and helped coordinate community events.
- The UI Parent and Family Network provided a safety booklet in every residence hall room highlighting resources available on campus to ensure students knew where to get help and where to make a report.
- Student Health and Wellness included information about affirmative consent and healthy relationships in their 2017 Healthy Hawk Challenge online survey, which was taken by 103 students, and on displays in their office.