STORY BY HILARY PADAVAN
In the fall of 2014, Drake University came under fire from students because they were dissatisfied with how the administration handled a sexual assault case.
As a result, the university underwent federal investigation for their handling of the case. Even though the results of that investigation are still unknown, there have already been some changes to Drake’s sexual assault awareness on campus.
Last week, all students received an email linking them to an online sexual assault program intended to educate the student body on what constitutes a sexual assault and how to prevent it.
After taking the course myself, I can confidently say that I felt it was largely ineffective. While the information was important and may have helped a small handful of students, I’m willing to bet the vast majority simply skimmed through the exercise and didn’t actually read any of the articles because they didn’t really have to.
Most of the exercises were easy to simply click through while doing something else and didn’t require much focus.
If this is Drake’s answer to the students’ outcry last year, it’s very lackluster at best.
If Drake truly wants to promote a safe campus and provide a safe space for sexual assault victims, this online course is only the first step of many that need to be taken to make this goal a reality.
Sexual assault awareness needs to be taken offline and onto campus. Instead of creating a mandatory course that can be glanced over, students should be required to attend a seminar on sexual assault that shows them real life examples of sexual assault and the consequences of their actions not only for themselves, but also for victims and survivors.
Drake needs to take a stronger and more visible stance on sexual assault, rather than sending students diving deep through student handbooks and codes of conduct full of the political language required of such texts.
I want to hear President Martin publicly taking a stand against sexual assault rather than reading an email from him on the issue.
If this is an issue that Drake feels passionate about, which they should, I hope to see more public action and forward movement to create a safe environment on campus in the future, not just scraping by with the bare minimum requirements.