New University program aims to discuss sexual assault with every first year

One Less, One in Four plan ‘Dorm Norm’ conversations

ns-fitzhugh_flood-tb

One Less and One in Four are collaborating to establish “Dorm Norms,” a new safety initiative aiming to discuss sexual assault with all first-year students. 

The talks intend to teach new students what they can do to reduce community violence and its effects on peers.

One Less President Alex Pinkleton, a fourth-year College student, said the new effort will build off of other safety information that first years are already receiving, including bystander intervention and survivor support.

“Strong support for survivors helps to erode the culture of silence around sexual assault, which could in the long-term prove essential to greater reporting and adjudication of these incidents,” Pinkleton said in an email.

Dorm Norms will take place during the "red zone," or the first six weeks of college during which the risk of sexual assault is the highest, Pinkleton said.

“During this period, we think it is incredibly important to make sure first years have the necessary resources to assist their peers,” Pinkleton said.

Though Dorm Norms was not developed by the University and is not mandatory for students  One Less and One in Four are working with the Office of the Dean of Students, said One in Four President Nick Favaloro, a third-year College student.

"The administration has helped to ensure Dorm Norms reinforces and builds upon other anti-sexual assault messaging,” Favaloro said in an email.

Dorm Norms will work to inspire further conversations among students, and in the long run further the safety goals of One Less and One in Four, Favaloro said.

“The new script also aims to foster a dialogue among first-year students, and will act as a mechanism for first years to process and discuss other sexual assault prevention presentations they have heard during training,” Favaloro said.

Kayla Eanes contributed to reporting.

related stories