TENNESSEE (WJHL)- College campuses across the state are adhering to a new law requiring sexual assault prevention training for new students. East Tennessee State University is following those guidelines by requiring incoming freshmen and transfer students to complete an online training program.
ETSU actually first introduced this type of training in the spring of 2015 and began requiring its completion last fall but earlier this year Tennessee’s legislature passed a law that requires every higher education institution to offer instruction aimed at increasing awareness of sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual harassment, hate crimes and date rape offenses to all incoming freshmen.
Freshman Megan McCormick said, “I feel safer on campus knowing that they’re bringing awareness to this.”
ETSU’s Assistant Dean of Students Michelle Byrd said, “The overall goal is to make ETSU a safe community and to empower people to be knowledgeable about this subject and empower them to feel like if a friend or acquaintance is put in a bad situation, that they know how to intervene or know what to do to get help.”
ETSU Freshman Christopher Noel said he thinks the online training is a great idea. Noel said, “I think it’s important because it’s a growing issue in society and the country.” “So, I think it’s important to have that, especially on a college campus, where I would say that happens more often,” he said,
McCormick said, “I definitely think it’s a good idea because it is a growing problem in our country and statistics show that it happens more on college campuses.” “It’s definitely a good idea to make us do (the training),” she said.
Byrd said there have been between 10 to 15 sexual assault investigations going on at ETSU within the past year. “Everyone is at risk for sexual assault or sexual misconduct and knowledge is power and they need to know some things that could help them or could help others,” she said.
This training program has two parts. The deadline to complete the first portion is September 1st. Both sessions must be complete by October 1st. Byrd says students could be met with minor disciplinary action if they do not complete the training.
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