New UNK online course to teach ‘Respect Boundaries’

KEARNEY – New University of Nebraska at Kearney students will take a new online course this fall called “Respect Boundaries” to inform them on sexual assault, domestic violence, sexual harassment, stalking and other issues related to sexual violence.

The free course is one facet of UNK’s response to the Campus SaVE (Sexual Violence Elimination) Act which became law in March 2013.

The online course will help UNK students understand federal and state laws and campus policies on sexual violence. Students will learn about inappropriate and illegal behaviors, how to protect themselves, how to find help for themselves and others if needed, effective bystander intervention strategies, and procedures and processes for reporting incidents of sexual violence.

The Respect Boundaries course takes approximately one hour to complete, at the student’s pace, and can be completed in separate sittings in online modules, followed by brief quizzes. It was developed by UNK Police, with assistance from UNK’s Counseling and Health Care, Information Technology, and Human Resources. It is available now on students’ Blackboard (UNK’s online course and grading environment), and students are being informed of it starting today through various communications. Students new this fall to UNK are asked to participate in the course.

“Since the new law was enacted, UNK and the other University of Nebraska campuses have worked to enhance safety and assure compliance,” said Gilbert Hinga, interim dean of student affairs. “We are required to provide education for students, our staff and faculty to make them aware of resources we have available, and how to report problems.”

Earlier this year UNK expanded its education and communication to students and parents through various activities, websites and training modules.

Kelly Bartling, UNK spokesperson, said UNK has a safe campus, with one report of alleged sexual violence in 2012, two incident reports in 2011 and three in 2013.

“UNK does not take safety for granted and will remain proactive,” she said. “Our message to our students through this training is ‘Know how to stay safe, inform yourself, know where your resources are, and help others know as well’.”

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