Launch credited class on sexual assault for first-year students

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Dear students of Oxford,

Sexual assault is a prevalent issue here. To ameliorate this problem, we propose a new educational initiative for first-year students. We believe that educating students more thoroughly is likely to reduce the number of incidents of sexual assault at Oxford College.

Although incoming Oxford first-year students are already required to complete an online course about sexual assault through Haven, the program is flawed. It is easy to skip through the course without reading the information, and students have little motivation to complete it diligently because they do not receive credit or a grade for it. It also lacks sufficient depth on the subject matter.

The education program we propose would take the form of a one-credit course taught by a professor that is trained in the subject of sexual assault. The class would function like any other course taught at Oxford and cover a combination of philosophical readings about the meaning of consent and sexual assault, as well as the legal definitions, statistics, preventive methods, and consequences. A course taught in person would force students to engage with the material instead of skipping through it. A graded class would motivate students because it would count toward their GPA. Several Oxford professors have already endorsed the implementation of this course and would be willing to teach it.

We believe that this course would improve Oxford students' ability to identify sexual assault, which would in turn discourage them from committing sexual assault and even encourage them to intervene when they witness it in the future. If you support our proposal for a new educational initiative, please sign our petition below. 


Felipe Maggiore, Sara Feinstein, Meredith Starks, and Signe Forsingdal