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Letter: Sexual assault training reform is collaborative

To the Editor:

From the Sept. 18 Herald article “First-year sexual assault training to be reevaluated,” some readers may have gotten the impression that BWell has been resistant to change and taken an obstructionist stance on the first-year orientation sexual assault training. This is not the case.

The push for replacement of “Speak About It” has been a cooperative effort between students and BWell staff. Marc Peters, men’s health coordinator, and Francie Mantak, director of health promotion, have both put a great deal of time and work into the project. Responding to student concerns, they organized the working group that began drafting content for an alternative presentation. Several of the students involved (including me) also work with BWell as sexual assault peer educators. The Health Promotion Office has an established record of collaboration with students. It is one of the more responsive and student-centered resources on campus, and the portrayal in the article was unfairly negative.

Furthermore, student proposals for new programming were not “deemed insufficient,” as the article claims. The proposals themselves were accepted and agreed upon. Rather, students (in the midst of the academic term and doing this extra work without compensation) were unable to generate enough content to make the administration feel comfortable about changing orientation plans for the incoming class (which are made far in advance).

Hopefully these clarifications will rectify any misconceptions arising from the article.

Nico Sedivy ’17


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