Mandatory sexual assault awareness training underway

FAMU First campaign. Graphic courtesy:

Florida A&M University emailed all students at 9:30 p.m. Thursday about the school’s new mandatory sexual assault awareness training. Through the company EverFi, this training has been specifically catered to FAMU to provide an effective way to educate students about an ongoing issue.

Hayley Giannuzzi, a fourth-year cardiopulmonary major who serves as deputy of student welfare of FAMU’s Student Government Association and vice president of Warriors Against Rape (W.A.R) on FAMU’s campus, spearheaded this initiative.

The conversations began when former student body president Xavier McClinton had sexual assault awareness as one of his most critical platform points to accomplish. This was the beginning of a new era FAMU students demanded to see.

From these initial planning stages, Giannuzzi spoke with the dean of student affairs and the Greek Life coordinator to make sure this was the correct program for the university.

The training includes videos, stories, scenarios and lots of interactive opportunities for students to grasp the material in its entirety.

Giannuzzi says over the past four months, making sure this program was a resource was her main priority.

“I feel like this was so important to accomplish because there are a lot of people who are without knowledge of many things related to this topic, and we shouldn’t be ignorant to it anymore,” Giannuzzi said.

Giannuzzi and other student leaders have worked since last spring to distribute preventive methods that will change the trajectory of sexual assaults on campus. Their goal was to start with organizations so that campus leaders could be trusted messengers and distributors of the information. What began as an idea took many meetings and conversations to finalize this mandatory training for all students.

Giannuzzi tested many courses and finally found one that allows students to work at their own pace from any device, with the ability to save your progress if a student cannot complete the training in one sitting. Giannuzzi researched the best programs that organizations and other universities have used and chose this program.

It was selected by administration and students because having lessons followed by a test is thought to be the best program for Florida A&M‘s culture. Before choosing to go with this program, they said it was important to have a final examination to ensure the course materials stick with the students.

The training has a deadline of April 4 for all students to complete and can now be found on the iRattler dashboard. Students who do not complete the training will not be allowed to joine campus-sponsored organizations.

“This training is so important because there are a lot of situations that happen on our campus that are avoidable, and now that students have access to proper and correct information, this is the first step to a brighter future,” Giannuzzi said.