WSU Receives National Recognition for Safe@Weber Curriculum
OGDEN, Utah – For its work creating a dating violence prevention curriculum specific to the LGBTQ+ community, Weber State University’s Safe@Weber Violence Prevention Team was honored by NASPA (student affairs administrators in higher education), as the 2018 Best Practice in Prevention Activities award winner.
The award was presented March 6, during NASPA’s annual Campus Safety and Violence Prevention Knowledge Community Awards Reception, held in Philadelphia.
Safe@Weber is a campus-wide effort to support violence prevention and advocacy services for all members of the campus: students, faculty and staff.
As part of that initiative, the Safe@Weber Violence Prevention Team in the Women’s Center conducted research and created a customized curriculum for a workshop that helps ensure LGBTQ+ students have an understanding of consent and know how to communicate their feelings, needs and boundaries.
“Research show the community of diverse genders and sexualities in the United States experiences particularly high rates of sexual, relationship and identity-based violence,” said Stephanie McClure, Women’s Center director. “Additionally, the cultural landscape in Utah has led LGBTQ+ youth to experience higher risk factors and multiple forms of violence.”
Although campuses across the nation are tackling the problem of sexual violence, there is no national curriculum that targets best practices specific to the LGBTQ+ community.
The Health Department grant allowed WSU to develop a comprehensive primary prevention curriculum workshop that teaches college students, ages 18-24, healthy ways to “Navigate Consent and LGBTQ Sexual Relationships.”
In order to create meaningful curriculum, the team conducted extensive research in collaboration with the OUTreach Resource Center, WSU’s LGBT Resource Center and the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. The 97-question survey was distributed throughout Utah universities, and 779 people participated.
Participants who attended the workshop reported an increased understanding of what consent in a sexual relation means and felt empowered to express concerns.
As an example of participant feedback, one individual wrote, “I have learned how to communicate with a sexual partner about what I want and they want, to make sure that everything is consensual. I have also learned to recognize and avoid unequal power dynamics that may prevent consent from being possible. Additionally, I learned how to set boundaries and respect the boundaries of others.”
The Weber State consent curriculum was created for Utah LGBTQ+ students specifically, and the Safe@Weber Violence Prevention Team is currently taking it to various campuses throughout the state to conduct further assessments. If it is effective at other Utah institutions, then the Women’s Center will work on building a train-the-trainer program to distribute the workshop more broadly to other universities and community organizations.
It is such an honor to be recognized nationally for this project,” McClure said. “Thanks to all the Utah LGBTQ+ folks who contributed their voices and helped us develop this impactful curriculum. This project is a perfect example of the power of community to help create positive social change.”
Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.