Haven not as comprehensive as needed, students say

Bailey Workman
News Staff Writer
bworkman@unca.edu

In compliance with federal law, UNC Asheville offers its own mandatory programs for education on alcohol and prevention of sexual assault.

According to the UNCA website, Haven and AlcoholEdu are required for all incoming students. Haven introduces concepts of bystander awareness and intervention, as well as prevention of sexual assault. AlcoholEdu covers the negative effects of drinking and educates about alcohol itself.

“I think that Alcohol Edu was really good because it wasn’t trying to tell you what to do, it was like, ‘hey, this is what happens when you drink this much in this amount of time and you weigh this much.’ I thought that part was really good because of stuff like that,” said Ellie Bass, a freshman psychology student from Tampa.

Both programs contain confidential and optional surveys intended to gather information to get a better idea of what the student needs are.

However, not all are convinced this is a practical tactic.

According to a study conducted by researchers at UNC Chapel Hill, the shortcoming in these programs lies in the fact they often do not do well across the board, only in specific areas.

For example, programs using movies or lectures can reduce the acceptance of rape myths, but may fall short at changing rape attitudes.

The study also suggested single-gender programs are more effective, as well as programs with multiple sessions being more effective than those with only one.

Both Haven and AlcoholEdu are composed of two portions, both completed online, which runs contrary to the proposal a series of classes and workshops would be the most effective manner of education.

While the programs do fulfill the federal funding requirements, some students, such as freshman Lauren Skaretka-Mendoza, a psychology and health and wellness student from Las Vegas, said they feel the programs are incomplete.

“I would probably say if they went a little bit farther, then it would most likely help out,” said Skaretka-Mendoza.

Another concern students have is Haven and AlcoholEdu being too little, too late.

Bass said her sexual assault prevention programs prior to Haven mainly consisted of warnings such as ‘don’t walk alone.’

“I thought that the Haven stuff, I thought it was good. I just think we should be taught more stuff like this before college,” said Bass.

Emily Kozusnik, a sophomore psychology student from Wilmington agrees and adds Haven is not as complete as AlcoholEdu.

“I’m not gonna say it was particularly blaming, but it was saying more ways to prevent sexual assault, opposed to why it was wrong to the victim,” said Kosuznik. “The alcohol portion was effective in explaining portion sizes and how quickly you can get alcohol poisoning, but besides that, I think it needs some extra work.”

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