Students required to complete online life skills training program

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Queens College students received an email this month from the Office of the Vice President of Student affairs stating they must complete an online training program in 10 days or a hold will be placed on their account.

Topics of the training program included alcohol abuse prevention, sexual assault awareness, relationship violence and other relevant issues. Students must go through a series of surveys, informational videos and quizzes to complete the course. They must also complete a mandatory survey 45 days after taking the course.

QC developed the program known as Haven in partnership with Everfi. The education technology company focuses on teaching, assessing, and certifying students in critical skills, said the company’s website.

“As part of our comprehensive prevention program for students and our commitment to provide a supportive learning environment, which fosters a safe, healthy relationship among students, QC requires you to complete the Haven Online Training program. This online course will empower you to make well-informed decisions about issues that affect your college years and beyond,” Vice President of Student Affairs Adam L. Rockman in the email said.

The training program emerged shortly after CUNY proposed changes in its policy against sexual harassment and sexual violence. The University met with lawyers and student affairs officials to review policies and make sure those policies comply with federal and state law, said Frederick Schaffer, senior vice chancellor for legal affairs and general counsel.

“The working group concluded that the University should have a single comprehensive policy against sexual harassment and sexual violence that covers students, employees and visitors, and that clearly defines the prohibited conduct, the process for reporting violations as well as raising the matter confidentially with specified employees, the role of University public safety and outside law enforcement, and available resources,” Schaffer said.

While many students shared their distaste for Haven through social networking, sophomore Dorothy Yeung agreed with what the school is trying to accomplish.

“I deeply appreciate the fact that QC has give this opportunity to the students because there are so many things that people don’t know about sexual abuse. I think it should be mandatory because it is something that people have in the back of their minds, but they don’t do anything about it,” Yeung said.

Junior Summer Medina also appreciated the school’s efforts, but remained skeptical on the overall impact it will have on students.

“I just don’t think that the training is necessarily going to do anything in terms of preventing sexual harassment,” Medina said. “I think it’s great that it can educate people, but I don’t see it stopping this epidemic on college campuses.”

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