1 in 8 new WSU students complete sexual assault prevention training required at KU, K-State

Graphic by Morgan Anderson

Many universities, including Kansas State and the University of Kansas, require incoming students to participate in some form of sexual assault prevention training. Wichita State does not.

So far this school year, just one in eight new WSU students (444 of 3,549) have watched the two-hour “Not Anymore” training video recommended by the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance, according to Title IX Coordinator Sara Zafar.

“It’s really low. I mean, it’s abysmally low,” Zafar said, acknowledging that that 12.5% viewership rate is “pretty consistent” with other years.

“It’s frustrating to me that we have about 12% of students taking a training that I think could clear up a lot of — some of the mystery around how [Title IX] works,” Zafar said.

“When it’s not mandated, we don’t get the message across. I mean, people just don’t learn the information that we really would like for them to learn.”

K-State gives new students 20 days to complete a mandatory online sexual assault prevention course. Students 21 years and younger must complete a roughly 90-minute course while students 22 and older must complete a roughly 45-minute course.

In addition to an online prevention training video, new KU students are required to participate in a two-hour in-person bystander intervention training program. Students who fail to do so get a hold on their account that prevents them from enrolling in classes.

WSU’s Not Anymore training video, a product of Vector Solutions, is “designed to prevent sexual assault, dating and domestic violence and stalking” and helps universities “meet Title IX education mandates,” according to the company’s website.

Zafar said the training video covers consent, sexual assault, dating violence, and substance abuse, among other things.

“Yeah, two hours is a long time, but you can stop and start. You can do a little bit here and there,” Zafar said.

WSU’s NCAA athletes are required to watch the training video. Other students are only “encouraged” to do so. New students receive an email from the Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance.

“[The email] basically says, ‘We encourage you or we urge you to take this training,’ and it gives a deadline date, but it is not required,” Zafar said.

“If you don’t complete it, then first, it will just be kind of harassing emails that are just like, ‘Hey, you haven’t completed your training yet. You have, you know, two weeks to complete it.’”

“Harassing emails” aside, students who decide not to watch the two-hour video face no consequences. Zafar said she finds that frustrating.

“If the parking department can put a hold on somebody’s account for unpaid tickets or unpaid fines or whatever, then why can’t our office . . . do the same type of thing where you are required to take this training or you can’t proceed?” she said.

Zafar said the OIEC has considered requesting that some classes make the training video extra credit. Several already do, but she said that’s not enough.

The OIEC gives a short presentation during student orientation, but Zafar said the office has to split 45 minutes to an hour of time with Counseling and Prevention Services, Student Conduct, and the WSU Police Department. The OIEC also presents to new employees and grad students.

“We try to reach as many people as possible,” Zafar said. “That presentation is mostly, here’s who we are. Here’s what we look at. Here’s how to reach us and how to make a report, because that’s what people really want to know.”

On Tuesday, The Sunflower asked six students in the Rhatigan Student Center if they had watched the recommended Not Anymore training video. Only one student said they had.

Freshman nursing student Minh Tran said that if she experienced or became aware of some form of sexual misconduct, she wouldn’t know who to report it to. Two other students said they would just call the police.

Biological sciences and illustration freshman Daria Moore was the only student who reported watching the sexual assault prevention video. She said she was underwhelmed by it.

“I feel like the video could have done better at just explaining stuff,” Moore said.

The Sunflower contacted the President’s Office last Friday to ask if WSU has considered revising its non-mandatory prevention training policy. On Tuesday, a senior office associate responded, saying President Jay Golden is out of town but that he has been notified of the matter and will respond at some point next week.