This year marked the first time that all incoming first-years at the 5Cs were required to participate in the Haven sexual assault education program before arriving for classes. Although some schools, including Scripps College, have been using the program since 2013, this summer was the first in which all five of the Claremont Colleges participated in the program.
The program, an online education module introduced in 2011 by EverFi, deals with issues of sexual assault and prevention on college campuses. Put into effect after the passing of the federal Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act, Haven is part of a growing focus on preventative education concerning sexual assault.
“Information is one of the best ways of circumventing and preventing issues around the misuse of alcohol, which ultimately leads to sexual assault on college campuses,” Kemi Richardson CM ’17 said. “Haven is an informative program, and its implementation is a logical step in the right direction toward preventing sexual assault on CMC’s campus.”
The requirement that students complete the program to be eligible to register for classes elicited mixed reactions from the student body.
“I thought that was a good incentive, theoretically, but I ended up having to rush through it to get it done by the deadline,” Callista Wells PO ’18 said. “I couldn’t go through it as thoroughly as I would have otherwise.”
Many college administrators are enthusiastic about the growing focus on sexual assault prevention. Moya Carter, Pitzer College’s vice president of student affairs and dean of students, highlighted the importance of introducing Haven and AlcoholEdu, a similar online program focused on drinking, before students get to campus.
“Recognizing that every student is at a different stage in understanding the very important issues covered in the two modules, we knew that additional education on these topics could only assist the newest members of our community,” she said. “We have a five-year contract for AlcoholEdu and Haven and expect that we will offer the additional education to all incoming first-year students for many years to come.”
Claremont McKenna College required that not only first-years but all returning students complete the course as part of the college’s efforts to implement its Personal and Social Responsibility Initiative, which began last academic year. CMC also reevaluated and improved its policies regarding Title IX and civil rights as part of the initiative.
Scripps, the first school of the consortium to use Haven, began working with the program in 2013. Scripps has the rights to offer Haven to their entire student body and is currently planning a way to encourage all students to take the online module.
Scripps Student Activities Coordinator Evetth Gonzalez said that the college introduced Haven “at a time when there was a lot in the media about bystander intervention strategies and how important it was for campuses to be using them and a lot of cases about colleges that are doing well with sexual assault education.”
Gonzalez said that the value of Haven lies in providing students with resources before they get on campus and introducing students to language to discuss assault and red-flag situations where bystander intervention is important.
“The more times students hear about and talk about these things, the more it will sink in and resonate,” Gonzalez said.