Freshmen undergo sexual assault training



Students in the First Year Seminar classes took a computer course on preventing sexual assault. The module was to help students know how to stay safe.

Cheyenne Miller, Copy Editor

For the first time in recent years, Seward County Community College is requiring freshmen to complete a course on sexual assault as part of the first year seminar classes.

The course, hosted by the website EVERFI, explores potentially unhealthy aspects of relationships in college, and guides students through prevention methods and sources of intervention.

“On the website, there’s a lot of videos we had to watch concerning sexual safety,” Denise Perez, a freshman English major from Liberal, said. “There were different scenarios we went through, like how to help someone who has been victimized, or how to spot signs that something is wrong.”

At the end of each topic, students were required to take quizzes, and the course ended with a comprehensive test to gauge what the students had learned.

“I didn’t really learn anything new, but I think others can benefit from it. It was cool that the videos gave examples of assault and consent from different perspectives, though,” freshman nursing major Teryn Harp said.

The introduction of the sexual assault course came after faculty noticed the positive response students had to EVERFI’s alcohol and substance abuse course.

We want them (students) to be able to safely explore their values, identities, and relationships.”

— Annette Hackbarth-Onson

“Students really seemed to enjoy and respond to the substance abuse prevention course from EVERFI, so we were excited for new freshmen to try the sexual assault training course this year,” Annette Hackbarth-Onson, Dean of Student Success at SCCC, explained.

Many of the topics the course covers coincide with SCCC’s objectives concerning the safety and wellbeing of its students.

“This campus is fully committed to sexual assault prevention, and this is just one way to reinforce those values. That’s why we partner with the Liberal Area Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Services center, too. We’re always looking for new ways to protect our students and give them the knowledge and resources that they need to be safe,” Hackbarth-Onson said.

Besides promoting important skills for prevention of sexual assault, the course also explores topics like consent, stalking, survivor support, and gender socialization and identity.

“Many students may understand what sexual assault is, but we want them to have a full understanding of the causes and repurcussions of it, too,” Hackbarth-Onson added. “We want them to be able to safely explore their values, identities, and relationships.”

Students are also aware of the fact that many of these topics might be foreign to their peers.

“I may have already known a lot of this stuff, but it’s helpful overall for us all to have to do it,” Perez said. “There’s a lot of diversity on campus, a lot of different perspectives and values, and some might have no idea about these things.”

The administration plans to survey the students who have completed the course in hopes that the information provided will have impacted them positively.