STORY BY JESSICA LYNK
“Seventy percent of students (affected by sexual misconduct) go to their peers before they come to an official person to report,” Drake’s Coordinator for Sexual Violence Response and Healthy Relationship Promotion Alysa Mozak said.
Because of this, Mozak has wanted to educated students about how to react if a peer confided in them about sexual misconduct.
This mentality, combined with the 2014 mandate in the Violence Against Women Act that requires all college students to be educated on the matter, pushed Drake University to require sexual & interpersonal misconduct educational program called Haven.
Haven, a course about sexual and interpersonal violence prevention, is required for all students at Drake.
Students are not allowed to register for spring classes until the curriculum is completed.
This class is the first hard mandate that the university has put on any program.
“The university is saying that “We think this is critical,’” Mozak said. “I hope that students see that the administration is backing my office up and really wants to put forth efforts that are going to make people feel safer.”
“There is that accountability trickle affect from faculty to administration to my office to students in need,” Mozak said.
Although the program is meant to foster a better environment students affected by sexual misconduct, those who are survivors of sexual misconduct are not required to take the class.
“Haven is just a small little dent of trying to create that culture of support,” Mozak said.
Because a majority of students have not been affected by sexual misconduct, Mozak wants students to stress the significance of this issue through this survey.
“Creating a healthy thriving safe community by letting people be educated and be part of the pillar of prevention and dissemination of recourses to people that are there allies, their friends, their sisters and brothers was the lens I took,” Mozak said, “But sometimes using ‘Hey, this is also a part of the federal guidelines was a good hook-in.’”
Even though students may not be personally affected by sexual misconduct, the course is aimed to provide resources for those who haven’t
“You can still play onus to create an environment where people thrive and try to prevent it from happening,” Mozak said,
“Haven is supposed to transform the culture so that people understand what are their resources, their student rights and the procedures that the university provides for students who have been victimized.”
Mozak believes Haven will guide students in the direction of understanding.
“It is part of that environment that helps people feel like they have a voice,” Mozak said. “When they see the resources available that have always been available to students, but haven’t been adequately disseminated or documented, I think that this is going to create an avenue of change.”
For logistical questions about the program, students should go to www.drake.edu/sim.