By: Andrea Williams
KENNESAW, GA.- As young adults people leave their homes to go to college and experience life in a new way. Most young adults venture far, while some stay close to home. While at school these young adults study hard and sometimes party, but for some partying and hanging out can get out of hand.
Rima Durham a junior at Kennesaw State University was assaulted by a man walking from her car one Thursday night. She recalls the experience, “I felt someone watching me so I kept turning around.” By the time she turned around one more time she felt the man grab her, ripping her shirt, luckily she had pepper spray. She broke free and ran to her apartment locking the door behind her.
There are many situations such as Durhams across the nation, according to the Washington Post, “one out of every five undergraduate women have experienced sexual assault.” Having had three cases in the school year of 2014-2015, Kennesaw State University is among many universities that has made an effort to stay on top of sexual assaults and those like it. On the school’s website they have a section called, “TellKSU.” On the page it tells you what is considered sexual assault or assault, how to prevent it, what to do after your experience.
If you explore the website more it tells you how to report your experience, openly or anonymously. If someone does experience assault the website also gives resources for you to talk to someone.
KSU has made intolerance of sexual assault so severe that after the merge with Southern Polytechnic State University, KSU ensured that every transfer and new student had to complete an interactive online interpersonal violence prevention program called, “Not Anymore”, before registering for Fall 2015 classes. Any student who had not finished this requirement would not be able to enroll in classes that semester.
Within the one-hour information video students are educated about consent, sexual assault, alcohol use, dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, healthy relationships, and bystander intervention.
Khadarius Cleveland a transfer student from Southern Polytechnic State University was among various students who had to complete this survey. “I understand why we have to do this,” he says, “I still feel it is unfair that we have to this when the students who have been here don’t have to.”
According to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, “Not Anymore is a research-driven, internet-based program that resonates with students intellectually, emotionally and socially.” After the video is viewed students must score a minimum of 85% to release your hold. Kennesaw State University with the implementation of this program hopes to reduce and inform the amount of sexual assaults on campus.
Dominic Freeman a KSU campus police trainee hopes that this new program shreds light on a dim issue. “As the security of this campus we try to make this a safe living environment for students and faculty.”
The KSU Police are fully behind the Title 9 Act, “All such acts of sexual violence are forms of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX.” Freeman goes on to say, “we in no way condone sexual assault or assault in any form.”
Mike Bowman a junior at Kennesaw State University finds the new policy interesting. “I’m not sure if it will change anything, but I hope it does”, Bowman said.
On the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights website, they further describe Title 9 and the factors that tie into the components that protect victims.
The Equal Employment Opportunity and Title 9 Office is just one of the many offices that people who want to gain more information can go to along with various informative documents and policies on Kennesaw State Universities webpage.
“If you or anyone you know has experienced a sexual assault or thinks they have please report it to the local authority,” he says, “use your resources we are here to help, if we personally can’t we can point you in the right direction.”
Sexual assault is an issue across the nation and should not be underestimated. Cases like Rima Durham are one of many, Kennesaw State University and various Institutions are continuously making an effort to change the vicious cycle.