The University of Iowa will require its administrators and new students to take training on sexual-harassment and violence policies. Professor Salome Raheim says the students will take an on-line course. It’s called “Alcohol E-D-U,” and the purpose of the course is to teach students more about the negative side-effects of alcohol, particularly the relationship between drinking and sexual violence, and the way alcohol figures into the inability to give consent.

She says the University of Iowa’s not alone in using the Alcohol-E-D-U course to address the issue by educating students. She says the mandatory training that both students and administrators will take is part of a broader strategy the University of Iowa’s using to create a more welcoming, inclusive and just community.

Administrators will get training in what sexual harassment is, how to watch out for it in offices and among students, and what their responsibility is to respond to it.
“We’re tackling the same thing with two different strategies.” Professor Raheim says the intention is not to try and make everybody perfect. “No, we’re not, ” she says, but having expectations and policies about appropriate behavior in the college community will make it possible to let people know about the expectations and consequences, and then hold them to the expectations.

The new policy arose from a pair of reports, one finding discrimination still exists on campus, the other concluding that there’s bad behavior among students, faculty and staff ranging from instances of discourtesy and “incivility,” to abuse and violence. The president’s announcement even said some of the responses to the story about pink locker rooms in Kinnick Stadium showed examples of discriminatory, abusive, and disrespectful behavior” from the campus.