Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Valentine's Day Bingo
February 24, 2024

"Not Anymore" a step in right direction, but not enough

The Not Anymore course, which educates students on sexual assault, bystander intervention, domestic violence, harassment stalking through online tutorials, could not have come at a better time.
The dean of students’ office sent out an email on Sept. 15, explaining that the mandatory course for all upperclassmen would have to be completed by Oct. 30. The very next day a campus incident report was sent out, detailing a brutal sexual assault.
The Not Anymore course is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough to satisfy the needs of the campus. Though I would applaud the dean of students’ office for taking the initiative to license this course for all of campus, the college did not approach this course in the correct way. I’ll be honest. I didn’t even see an email telling me I had to take a mandatory course before I hit mark as read on my email, sending this incredibly important information about the course to a place where I thought I would never look for it again.
It wasn’t until I saw people posting about Not Anymore on social media I realized what the course entailed. As someone who checks their email about as often as Snapchat, I hope the rest of the campus did not make my same mistake.
The course being randomly sent out through email on a Tuesday does not inspire students to want to educate themselves on these highly important and impactful issues. Instead, the course just seems as though it’s more of an assignment to complete, because there was never that conversation of how important this course is, even if it should be blatantly obvious.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 90 percent of on campus survivors of sexual assault do not report their assault. This is a statistic that can be found on all of posters entitled “Title IX: Nine Things to Know” in the bathroom stalls.
These posters address how seriously this nationwide epidemic should be taken. Project SAVE, a public health campaign class that has since been transformed into an on-campus organization, created the original posters (though no such citations are mentioned on the appropriated poster).
There are other measures to being taken to engage with students on the topic of sexual violence on our campus. Dr. Jessica Nodulman’s Introduction to Health Communication class had members of the Augustana community write messages about sexual violence prevention and awareness on t-shirts as part of the Clothesline Project during Symposium Day on Sept. 17. The class will be hanging those shirts on strings in the lower quad on Oct. 5, and then Project SAVE will be showing “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary about rape and its effects on college campuses in the United States. Events such as these, when paired with courses like Not Anymore, can engage the students much better than a one and done approach.
Though it should be easy for students to answer the question of “why should I care about some online course,” it should also be up to the college to explain why the course matters. Otherwise, the course just seems like one more item on a student’s checklist. Though it really is a step forward for the college to be making such a course mandatory, and students should be taking this course very seriously, one email isn’t enough to engage students.

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"Not Anymore" a step in right direction, but not enough