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Undergraduate students must now pass an online course about sexual consent if they want to enrol at the prestigious University of Melbourne.
Wow. What do you guys think?
I think any initiative that raises awareness of the issues around consent is a really good thing – but it’s just so sad that we need one in the first place.
Hey @ekoorb9 agree it is sad that they need one in the first place. Given the high number of sexual assault reported at Australian Universities (1 in 5 students reported sexual assault) this should become a mandatory part of all of the universities curriculum!
All the media I’ve seen for the “consent matters” online module course at Melbourne Uni has been really positive, but all the media I’ve seen for it at Sydney Uni has been really negative!
It was seen as pretty negative at Sydney Uni as people are saying it’s a real, tokenistic “tick a box” sort of thing that isn’t evidence based and you can attempt it as many times as you like. The consent matters program was absolutely slammed in the media a few weeks ago, but I’ve seen all these articles about it in Melbourne and everyone thinks its great?! I’m certainly confused!
The “Change The Course” report shows some really intense stats about campus culture. Does it come down to a “this online module is better than nothing?” Or is it dangerous for a university to think they are doing something and pat themselves on the back for it when students think they need to do more?
I’ve been part of writing and rolling out a face to face program for CSU this year which is really exciting, but it’s only for students living on campus, hopefully we can open it up to all students!
That’s interesting @HoneyPot. I know USyd has come under fire for their lack of action regarding in the university colleges – maybe it was seen as hypocritical?
I think it’s certainly a start, but given university students also have to do a similar ‘tick a box’ style quiz for plagiarism and academic conduct, I don’t really think this is anywhere near enough.
@ekoorb9 I’m a bit torn about this. I totally agree that any initiative is a start but I also agree 100% with @Aunt_Flo—it’s nowhere near enough. I think workshops can be a more effective way of engaging students but it’s hard to firstly make that mandatory and secondly to roll it out to tens of thousands of students…!
Yeah its a really tricky one! And obvi there is so much culture change that needs to happen too.
We’ve been getting great feedback so far from our workshops for 1st year, students living on campus which is great! But that’s obviously not all students.
Regarding this consent module – it’s now mandatory for all USYD students to do online before the semester commences. I’ve done it and it’s okay, not extensive but gets the point across? I think they put in the module in a response to the sexual assault on campus in relation to the colleges. Hard to say if it’s made any impact yet – it’s been going for the last year now through the online system.
Has anyone seen the module or similar anywhere else?
@tea I haven’t seen the module or heard anything about it for University of Wollongong
@tea They rolled out a mandatory consent course at UTS the semester after I finished up classes. When I went for my graduation ceremony there were posters around the bathroom saying that you couldn’t get your marks unless you’d finished the course. While I think education around consent is invaluable, using courses like this and enforcing them in a way that feels like bribery is definitely not the way to do it! I wish they could work out making it appealing to young people rather than making them a ‘tick this box’ quick course to get your marks in return. Not cool.
@sextronaut Wow yeah that is definitely not cool! It frames the whole process in such a negative way rather than something you’re happy to learn more about!