By Julian Wilson
Assistant Opinions Editor
On Feb. 2, 2015, the university issued a mass-email to all Post students, stating that every student, regardless of academic year or major, would have to take a newly-constructed, mandatory online course on sexual assault prevention.
The Haven online course is the result of a partnership between Long Island University and EverFi, “which helps students develop critical life skills such as alcohol abuse prevention, sexual assault prevention, and financial literacy across the country.”
The course was made easily accessible to students, through their ‘My LIU’ accounts, the same day it was announced via email. Due dates for both sections of the course (Feb. 24 and April 14), were posted in the notice, along with a ‘passing exam score,’ which is the minimum-grade that students would ultimately need to pass the online course.
John DiMartino, a senior Information Technology Management major, believes the course is unnecessary in the long run.
“This online course was poorly formulated,” DiMartino said. “[It] does nothing to teach anyone any information that they didn’t already know, or that they could have looked up in a textbook or online source.”
DiMartino also commented on the subject matter and content of the course, admitting that sexual assault is a topic that rightfully should be addressed. However, he said that holding an online course is not the way to do it.
“I don’t think a course is the way to go about addressing this issue,” DiMartino said. “[It] and would be better served in a lecture- based presentation that people can go to without being graded. More people would take it seriously in this manner, and would benefit more to learning the facts than taking an online course that isn’t well put together in the first place.”
Senior Digital Arts major Gerard Gilmartin agrees with DiMartino.
“This course they made seems just random, and out of the blue,” Gilmartin said. “Not only for me, but for other students, as well. Not many students are going to have much time, because a good amount of students have projects for their own individual classes and midterms are coming up.”
Like DiMartino, Gilmartin believes in other ways of spreading awareness of serious subjects on campus, suggesting that inviting a guest speaker during common hour, or simply handing out information via handouts are better methods.
I agree with DiMartino and Gilmartin. Upon receiving the email, I was very confused at first. However, after reading it thoroughly and analyzing it, I found it a little unnecessary, but more so, rather abrupt and impromptu. I believe it was an unfair decision to send out the email a little while before midterm exams, because it decreased the chances of a student to be able to properly prepare for it.
If you’re a student and have any questions about the online course, you can contact Jean Anne Smith, LIU Post’s associate dean of students, at her LIU email, firstname.lastname@example.org.