UNC Training Seeks A 'Healthy, Sober Environment' To Discuss Sexual Safety

Jan 19, 2015

UNC says its new mandatory online training about sexual consent and assault is meant to teach students, faculty and staff how to identify and communicate about these issues.
Credit pedrosimoes / Flickr

This fall, all UNC-Chapel Hill students, faculty and staff will have learned the same definitions for "consent", "sexual assault" and "harassment". It's part of a new, mandatory, online training.

Christi Hurt works in Student Affairs and directs the Carolina Women's Center. She says the goal is to define terms simplify communication. Hurt says this lays the foundation for student groups and dorm life to spur discussion.

“It is not a training that will automatically change behavior. It's training that will provide people with basic information, and it's the first step, I think, in a longer process around making sure that all of our students have the training and resources they need to create a healthy and safe community.”

What might that community look like?

“I think we're looking at a healthy campus culture where people are engaged in dialogue and discussion before engaging in sexual activity, so that people are aware of what each party is interested in, in that sexual contact,” Hurt says. “We're establishing a social norm, where people are having those conversations in a healthy, sober environment.”

Hurt says the training is part of a larger campus safety policy.