SIU students required to Step Up - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

SIU students required to Step Up

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - A new initiative at Southern Illinois is getting students to either Step Up or step out.

With the high number of sexual assault cases throughout college campuses, SIU administrators are requiring students who started in the Fall 2014 or Spring 2015, to take a training on how to not be bystanders during certain situations.

“The purpose is for students to help students understand their responsibility as members of the university community,” SIU Communications Officer, Rae Goldsmith said.

There are two sets of training SIU has, one online, called HAVEN, and the other, a face to face one called Step Up.

The training is to raise awareness on many issues such as sexual assault and how to prevent them from happening.

And some students feel talking about it is the first step in making the campus safer.

“The fact that we're even talking about it, is the best thing that could happen,” SIU graduate student, Natalie Hendricks said. “I think it's worse when people don't know what's happening and no one talks about it.”

“I feel that it's very informative,” SIU graduate student Quam Odukoya said.

In the training students are taught the five steps of how to step up.

Training sessions have been going on since last Fall. 

Students have received emails to remind them that “Step Up” was mandatory. Thursday was the last day to attend the training.

If any students fail to attend the session, they will be dropped from their classes and won't be allowed to register for classes until the 2015 Summer semester.

Students, like Natalie Hendricks, say training sessions like these help remind everyone how important it is to step up.

“I mean it says it right in the name that you should step up to even if it seems like an ambiguous situation, it's still important to do something,” Hendricks said.

This training was not only required for incoming students, but faculty as well.

University officials say they have identified about ten students who have not completed the training and say they are making efforts to reach out to them.

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