Tag: campus news

Preventing Sexual Violence through Education on Campus

Students at Clarke University, as well as students from all federally funded colleges and universities in the United States, are required to take sexual violence prevention training every year. To comply with the U.S. Department of Education requirements, Clarke provides a mandatory online training course to its students in the fall to be completed by October. The goal of this training, as well as other campus events, is to reduce instances of sexual violence and create a safe environment on campus for all students.

Sexual assault and sexual violence are not topics that college students she away from. Cases like Brock Turner and the Vanderbilt football players in 2015 caused an uproar of anger around the nation about sexual assault on campus and the justice system’s judgement on sexual assault cases. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), 11.2% of all undergraduate and graduate students experience sexual assault during their four years at college1. Clarke is not immune to this problem, even though it is viewed as a small, friendly campus. The online training program, and events like dramatic dialogue during CONNECT weekend, are created to educate students on sexual assault statistics, its implications, and resources available to them on campus. Through preventative education, Clarke works to change the environment on campus so that all students feel safe no matter what.

Education plays a vital role in the prevention of sexual violence on campus. One of the CDC’s five strategies to prevent sexual assault is to teach the skills necessary to prevent sexual violence through different areas of student’s lives2. Learning about healthy relationships and sexuality is one part of the education. For example, students are taught the warning signs of abusive tendencies so they know what to look out for in any kind of intimate or romantic relationships.

Kate Zanger, Vice President for Student Life and Title IX Coordinator at Clarke University, discussed what Clarke is doing to educate its students to prevent sexual violence. “One of the reasons we added the on-line sexual violence education class is to demonstrate that we are reaching students. It is not the only education tool we use. The CONNECT Orientation program for undergraduate students contains information about defining consent, by-stander intervention and our policy and resources including where to make a report and where to access confidential resources.” When asked why an online program, Kate explained that it is the best way to reach the most number of students, and that they have a high response rate. In previous years, Clarke has also asked coaches to require their athletes to attend on-campus events featuring films like “Hunting Grounds” followed a discussion by on- and off-campus personnel. Since Clarke’s student body has many athletes, requiring them to attend an event such as this ensures education is reaching a large percentage of students.

People are increasingly becoming aware of the prevalence and implications of sexual assault on campus. Instructing students regarding their rights and the resources available to them on campus can help victims and eliminate rape culture on campus. On this topic, Kate Zanger reported “I think as a result of our education efforts, we have experienced an increase in faculty, staff and students bringing concerns to me as the Title IX Coordinator for Clarke. I make an outreach to be sure the person knows their options for reporting and resources.” Through education, students can help each other and themselves fight through an impossible situation.

 

[1] https://www.rainn.org/statistics/campus-sexual-violence
[2] https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/prevention.html

 

by Sydney Young

 

 

Feelings of Neglect Among Pride

Is Clarke University considering anything and everything for its athletics? Some students on campus, specifically student athletes, feel as though their respective sports are being overlooked by administration, thus, making them feel unimportant.

Decorated teams like Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field all been competing off campus since each of their inaugural seasons. Baseball competes at A.J. Spiegel Park in Peosta which is about a 20-minute drive. Softball competes at Veteran’s Memorial Park which is a 7-minute drive, and Track and Field have never even had home field advantage as they are always on the road. These teams, along with two Lacrosse teams, two Golf teams, two soccer teams, and potentially our new football team will have to share one indoor facility throughout the year, the Gantz Center, which is also a 7-minute drive from campus. Clarke does not provide transportation to these off-campus facilities.

Baseball, Softball, and Track and Field have been exceptionally successful in the past few years; however, a number of student-athletes feel as though they have nothing to show for it.

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Photo Credit: College Consensus 

Campus is changing, and some concerns are coming to light. There is little word from the administration regarding what exactly these new facilities are going to look like. Students can visibly see the plethora of space there is on campus, and that there is a lot of room for possible facilities for sports that seem to have been forgotten.

In a conversation with All-American baseball player, Michael Lopez, a junior from Rancho Cucamonga, California, he expresses his discontent with the current facilities stating, “I feel like our team is consistently successful, however we still get the short end of the stick having to drive 20 minutes to practice every day. A lot of us are from far away states and don’t have cars at our disposal.”

Lopez continues with expressing frustration stating, “It just sucks because student-athletes work as hard as we can to represent Clarke and what has Clarke done for us? Now that they are taking trees down, I can see that there is definitely room on campus for a baseball field or even an Avila type facility which is a full length make-shift football field, soccer field, softball field, and baseball field…I know I am not alone by saying there is room for this type of facility at Clarke.”

Clarke softball players also express their frustration and feelings of neglect. Ally Renforth explains the softball field is less than conducive for competition and practice, “…we have to haul all of our equipment from Gantz to [Veteran’s Memorial Park] to the school. It’s a constant struggle having to chase down equipment.”

Renforth continues to express her frustrations with the actual field, “We play at a community field. Kids ride their bikes across it and even run onto our field during practice. We have to put up a fence in order for our field to be regulation, we have an extremely small dugout for our team, and we have a scoreboard with broken pegs for plastic numbers that fall off. In all of my four years of college softball we are the only team I’ve seen with less than satisfactory facilities like ours.”

Renforth continues to state, “don’t get me wrong, we are content with the facilities that we have, but now that Clarke is making new facilities for a team that doesn’t even exist yet, it kind of hurts feeling as though we have been totally forgotten about.”

In closing with Lopez he expressed, “Clarke is doing a lot of things right, but they are also doing a lot wrong. The university should be caring thoughtfully about their current students and student-athletes because we are the best chance they have at generating donors. Instead, most of us are unhappy and envy schools like Georgia Gwinnett, University of Dubuque and the facilities that many teams in our conference have. I understand sports aren’t everything in life, but Clarke is wasting the chance to bring a championship culture across all sports to campus.”

Personally being affected by this, it seems like Clarke is jumping the gun on some of the decisions they make. This article is not meant to be taken offensively. I think Coach Regalado is doing a great job recruiting a team and getting the Clarke community excited about football. Administration is doing a great job in supporting football on the Clarke campus. The soccer and lacrosse teams are all equally deserving of benefiting from these future facilities. All of these things aside, it still doesn’t hide the fact that current student-athletes feel neglected for a shiny new object when they have put in the blood, sweat, and tears in order to make their sports worthy of respect.

 

By: Jamie Deering