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When first coming to the Northwest campus, students start Advantage before classes begin. This includes numerous events and information to get students involved and become more acclimated with the University.

All of these events are undoubtedly helpful, specifically one in particular. The “Can I Kiss You” event helps students become more educated in the realm of sexual violence. The majority of the presentation covers consent, prevention and improving support systems for survivors.

The event, for the most part, is not taken as seriously as the topic covered should be. It takes a heavy topic and takes a light-hearted approach to educate the students, but as most of us can recall, the event is filled with laughter and jokes. It needs to be taken more seriously.

The Editorial Board recognizes this effort by the University and appreciates the step being taken, but we also know that more needs to be done. Though we know Northwest is not responsible for the actions of its students in regards to the topic, we also know that there are more things the University can do to help.

Sexual violence of all forms deeply effects not only survivors, but their families and friends. Violating another person in a sexual manner is unacceptable on every level. There is not enough being done not only in higher education, but in high schools and health classes too.

Here at Northwest, we have Engage, a program dedicated to informing staff, faculty and students about sexual violence prevention and education. It also makes efforts to ensure that our campus stays safe and feels secure. 

Engage also has training, workshops and speakers hosted at Northwest. Anyone can register for these trainings and can request speakers or workshops. All of these are beneficial to the prevention and education of sexual violence, but they shouldn’t be optional. 

The people that need the training and information the most, such as assailants, are not going to willingly register or show up to events. The only time they are going to, possibly, be required to attend these are after the assault has already occurred and was an outcome requirement of a Title IX case. 

The purpose of Engage is to prevent sexual violence. To truly make this as effective as it can be, these trainings should be a requirement for all students. 

Faculty of Northwest is required to go through training sessions every year through Vector LMS, Higher Education Edition. This training includes watching a video and taking a quiz over the topic. One of those training sessions are Title IX and Sexual Harassment — a training that should also be required for students. 

If faculty are required to repeat this — essential — training each year, then at the very least, students should also be required to go through similar, if not the same, training once. The training required for faculty is a 27 minute video and a quiz. Something that can take approximately half an hour can save the lives of many people.

The requirement of these trainings is just a step in a multi-level process to help educate everyone on sexual violence and the prevention of it. Northwest has been named the safest campus in Missouri, to ensure that we continue to hold this to be true, we should be seeing more events, speakers and required trainings to keep people from becoming victims of sexual violence. 

We stand with survivors and hope to help make a change for not only your future but others as well. We do not believe that the training at the beginning of your first year is sufficient enough to leave a lasting impression until graduation and beyond.

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