A different kind of course

Dean of Students offers online module about sexual violence

More stories from Meghan Hosely



Earlier this month, the Dean of Students Office released an online module to UW-Eau Claire students, with topics concerning sexual violence, substance use, healthy relationships and consent.

Dean of Students Joe Abhold said this course came about due to the problem of sexual assault, particularly on college campuses.

“(Sexual assault is) a tremendous … tragic issue on college campuses,” Abhold said. “It’s one of those things where we try to prevent in a variety of ways, and this course is a way to up the intensity of those prevention efforts.”

Abhold said the course is estimated to take students anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes to complete. In his email sent out to the student body, he said students can stop and start the course at any time, and the course is available 24/7.

The module is also open all year, however, Abhold said he would like to see students finish the module by Oct. 30.

“The reason we want people to do it by October 30, is because the sooner the better,” he said. “We’re trying to give people safety information that will be helpful to them and to other students, so the sooner the better. But it’ll be open all year for people so they can refer back to it.”

Junior Christa Pachniak said she took the survey because she wanted to check it out and wanted the opportunity to be educated about sexual violence.

“I thought it was very educational, but most of it was stuff that I’ve heard before,” Pachniak said. “It’s pretty much not anything new. Some of the situations were a little uncomfortable.”

Pachniak also said it took her around two hours to complete the course, which she thought was, “pretty time consuming.”

Abhold said the main thing he hopes students take away from this course is the education on the subject and the resources available to everyone on campus.

“The crimes of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence and harassment are a serious concern on all college campuses, and at UW-Eau Claire we take them very seriously,” he said. “And if someone experiences being a victim of one of these crimes, we’d like to get them support resources … and to report it to the Dean of Students office as well.”