Campus Responds: Sexual Violence Prevention at Canisius College

By Eileen Niland and Terri L. Mangione

The Canisius College Sexual Violence Prevention Team has developed a comprehensive program which addresses sexual assault, dating and relationship violence awareness, and stalking behaviors. Since 2014, all new students are required to complete an on-line program, Think About It, that addresses risky student behavior in order to prevent sexual misconduct.

In fall 2015, the Step Up! Griffs Peer Education program was developed in the spirit of cura personalis, where upper-class and graduate students encourage first-year students to take care of each other by becoming active bystanders in situations that could lead to sexual assault. 

The Canisius Step Up! Griffs Bystander Intervention Program encourages students to assume personal responsibility when situations could potentially evolve into a sexual assault.

Beginning in spring 2016, peer educators were trained to facilitate classroom discussion focusing on relationship violence. The film “Escalation” has been shown in classrooms with a peer led discussion following the film. Canisius recognizes Sexual Violence Awareness Month in April each year when sexual violence prevention education is prominent throughout campus.

nt throughout campus. Over the last two years initiatives have included a colorful Consent Awareness poster campaign, student signing of a Know the Line pledge, showing the film “It Happened Here,” tabling events and classroom discussions. Collaboration with the Undergraduate Student Association has been key to the success of Sexual Violence Awareness Month initiatives.

Eileen Niland is director of the Counseling Center and sexual assault liaison at Canisius College. Terri L. Mangione is the vice president for student affairs and Title IX coordinator at Canisius College.

The cover photo is courtesy of Canisius College.