University Business September 2016 - 34

ASSAULT PREVENTION PROGRESS 1. Is the messaging really impacting students? In the classroom, on the athletic fields and in collaboration with faculty and community partners-those are the places where officials at Lasell College in Massachusetts make a concerted effort to reach the masses with a sexual assault prevention message that's anything but sugar-coated. Students watch eye-opening films that are sometimes difficult to get through, but put a human face on sexual assault, for instance. All assault prevention activities on Lasell's suburban Boston campus are student-led and student-driven, with guidance from Title IX Coordinator Jennifer O'Keeffe and legal studies professor Karin Raye, who is also an attorney and domestic violence activist. "Some schools have top-down mandates, but we have mobilized the students across campus," says O'Keeffe. "When it's them talking about the importance of their work, it's contagious." For example, criminal justice majors in Raye's class created an #ItsOnUs video. "Students wrote the script, made a plan around it, worked with a filmmaker and recruited people all over campus to be part of it," says O'Keeffe. The result was PSA-like, but because it was so inclusive of different student body members of all races and orientations, as well as faculty and staff members, it got people on campus to talk more openly about the issue-and inspired a surge of involvement and interest from various student groups. TRACKING SEXUAL ASSAULT PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS With sexual assault, awareness efforts may well lead to higher incident reporting-and even assumptions that initiatives aren't working. But there are still ways to measure program effectiveness. It starts with identifying prevention goals, says Jane Stapleton, executive director of practice for the Prevention Innovations Research Center at the University of New Hampshire. "Having clear intended outcomes will enable campuses to develop strategies to reach these outcomes and planned evaluations of their prevention will allow campuses to measure success." Common outcomes, she adds, are: * increased knowledge of the problems of sexual and relationship violence and stalking * increased knowledge of the prevention skills * increased confidence in the individual's ability to carry out the prevention skill * increased acceptance that prevention is an individual's responsibility * increased use of the prevention skill * decreased rape myth acceptance * decreased perpetration and victimization Are today's efforts working better than initiatives from five or 10 years ago? "I don't know that we have reliable data to suggest that what we are doing now is more effective than what we have been doing historically," Stapleton says. Yet, she adds, today's prevention strategies are more skills-based, and teaching skills rather than just teaching about the problem is important. "On the one hand, we have come a long way from where we started years ago," she says. "On the other hand, we still have a long way to go in developing and evaluating effective prevention strategies." 34 | September 2016 The project also garnered outside feedback and attention, including a retweet by the White House. It's especially important for campuses with limited resources to avoid spending time and money on programs that won't resonate, says Michelle Issadore, assistant executive director of prevention and advocacy for the Association of Title IX Administrators (ATIXA), a professional organization formed in 2011. Disseminating information via popular campus groups and co-sponsored events is an effective way to connect with different target audiences, as Lasell College's efforts have proven. "From older students to LGBTQ students to transfer students, there's a whole host of audiences and ways to shape your message," Issadore says. "You don't want to leave anyone out." 2. Have we implemented a bystander intervention program? Sexual assault programming should show the entire community how to stop potential assaults before they start. Bystander intervention awareness-which puts the focus not on the potential victim or perpetrator, but rather anyone able to observe a behavior-is the place to start. These programs are designed to help people identify potential scenarios that might lead to sexual violence (for instance, someone who is visibly drunk and leaving a party alone). Participants are taught intervention strategies, such as: creating a distraction (e.g., telling your friend you want her to walk with you back to the dorms); reporting to someone, such as a campus official, who can help; or intervening directly by stopping an assault in progress. Connecticut College implemented the nationally recognized Green Dot bystander intervention program. One component is a talk given to all incoming students at freshman orientation, which satisfies part of the federal mandate, but there is an optional six-hour Green Dot training course. About 28 percent of the class of 2016 opted to complete the training; the national participation average is about 15 percent. "If someone in a business suit comes in and says these are the regulations and the www.universitybusiness.com http://www.universitybusiness.com

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