We have been providing information to incoming freshmen and transfer students information about on- and off-campus resources for victims of interpersonal violence for 5 years. For incoming freshmen, we have an extended 45 minute program and for transfer students we provide a shortened program with the campus police that focuses on on- and off-campus resources and promotes the class for peer educators. With the funding from DOJ, we were able to expand our freshmen program to include stalking and are planing to evaluate the program's effectiveness. We utilize a peer educator model for freshmen orientation. The student orientation leaders facilitate small group discussions that take place after watching a video that depicts scenarios of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking. The program is 45 minutes long and occurs the second day of orientation. The group size varies from 150-300. Because students register through orientation, we virtually see almost all incoming students.
The video taped role plays were developed in conjunction with our external advocacy partners and the student orientation directors. These orientation directors recruit actors for the video and we help oversee the filming of brief vignettes. We have been re-taping these vignettes almost every year based on the new ideas that the orientation directors bring to the table. We provide 6 hours of training to the orientation leaders in conjunction with our external advocacy agency partners. These orientation leaders then facilitate a discussion after the orientation group watches the video. The discussion focuses on understanding and being able to identify the different forms of interpersonal violence, what the laws are, survivor empathy, how to help a friend, resources and reduction of bystander apathy.
1) We provide a brief introduction about the advocacy services on campus provided by the campus advocates and off-campus.
2) The students see a brief DVD comprised of the vignettes
3) The orientation leaders take the students and facilitate a discussion
4) Advocacy staff are available to field difficult questions and to provide support to any survivors
We are now just starting the process of evaluating the effectiveness or our orientation program. We have received feedback from students that they felt the program was worthwhile, important, and the one that they thought was the best in orientation. One testimonial is that two students who went through orientation took another student who was experiencing DV to all of the necessary support offices to assist her with her situation. At least for these two students, the information stuck.