Safety and sexual assault training required at SIU

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Teaching young men and women about sexual assault, harassment and staying safe is the goal of training every student must take at Southern Illinois University.

These are all things Rebecca Gonnering, special advisor at SIU Carbondale's Student Wellness Center, said they teach students on campus.

"Healthy communication, understanding of safe sexual practices, if they choose to engage with alcohol or other drugs, doing it safely," Gonnering said.

She said they will have several opportunities for students to attend training.

"We provide two annual trainings on a variety of different topics that are all somewhat related to gender based violence," Gonnering said.

She said these are general sexual health topics like healthy dating relationships and safe sex practices but they all lead back to one common thing.

"Embedded in that education is always going to be consent and communication as well," she explained.

When it comes to sexual assault university leaders know young people and alcohol can lead to dangerous situations. That's why the Kappa Alpha Order at SIU takes specific measures to ensure that young women feel safe at their parties according to their chapter president.

Peyton Boysen said his fraternity has a zero tolerance policy with sexual assault and if a member is accused it could mean expulsion. But he said thanks to their principals and education from the school his chapter hasn't had to do so in years

He said the fraternity has sober monitors for each event.

"What that is is a man in uniform or a hat or something of the sort," Boysen said. "And if a female comes up to our event or out party or whatever we tell them 'Hey if you feel uncomfortable or if someone's weirding you out or if you just need someone to talk to someone to take you home, go find a guy in a hat and they'll take care of it.'"

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