By Caroline Ryan
The Haven Course, a new online course in understanding sexual assault, is being required for both undergraduate and graduate students to complete for the spring 2015 semester. LIU Post has partnered with EverFi, the company that produces the Haven Course, to give students a comprehensive education on the controversial topic. An email was sent to students via their MyLIU email accounts in early February with instructions on how to complete the required course.
The Haven Course is an online assessment, which includes two parts. The course informs students about a number of important issues, such as the ethics of relationships, alcohol and its effect on relationships, consent, as well as both facts and myths related to sexual assault. The first part takes about 45-minutes, and then is required to be retaken a month later for 15-minutes.
Although the university has stated that the training is required, it is unclear what steps are being taken to enforce full compliance. LIU Post implemented this course in hopes of raising awareness about sexual assault on campus. It is more of a precaution than an issue that needs to be addressed, according to Jean Smith, the Associate Dean of Students. “The Haven course is a thoughtful educational program for adults committed to thinking about their life choices, and is an important part of our continued fight against sexual assault,” Smith said.
While the goal of completing this course is to help students make well-informed decisions about serious issues, some feel differently. “I took it and it was common sense. There are some things that are in the course that we should have known since day one at Post,” said Nathalie Souffrant, a senior Sociology major. “This course should have been added to the College 101 Class.” The administration has implemented this course in order to educate people to make smart decisions, as well as raise awareness.
LIU’s main goal is to create a healthy and safe environment for everyone. Katherine Ahern, an Assistant Professor of English, felt positively about the new program. “I do think that increasing awareness and taking safety concerns seriously should always be important to any campus,” Ahern said.