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Now that the Campus SaVE Act is being implemented in college and university campuses across the country, the work is well under way in educating the student population about the issue of on-campus violence and bystander intervention. At this point, it should no longer be a subject for people to talk about in dark corners or behind closed doors in dorm rooms across the nation. Still, it is not a topic that many will feel comfortable discussing openly so it’s important for universities to find ways to motivate and encourage those who must take part in these courses to actually want to be an active participant. There are several ways that they can accomplish this. What about colleges and campus that have not yet implemented the Campus SaVE act or do not have a plan in place?

While there are consequences for failure to meet the requirements set out in the new law, the most effective approach for success will to encourage participants to want to take an active role in the Campus SaVe Act program. This will require each campus to seriously consider the answer to several important questions before they can proceed in finalizing their new program of education in this regard.

What are the Consequences for Students and Employees Who do Not Take the Required Courses?

Getting campus administration to become more proactive in dealing with the Campus SaVE Act requirements is no easy task. Not only will they have to allocate funds for this training program but they will have to incorporate this new perspective on this old activity in order to change the thinking of many on this very sensitive subject. The consequences for the institution’s that do not comply is clear; any institution found to be in violation of the ACT may have penalties imposed that could be as high as $35,000 per violation in addition to the limitation or even suspension of eligibility of receiving federal aid if necessary. Considering the fact that most institutions would not be able to keep their doors open makes this a cause for serious concern.

Consequences for the Students / employees?

However, for the student the situation is not as clear. Each institution will be required to implement their own level of consequences for students who fail to comply with the new law. Title IX coordinators in each school are considering their options to motivate staff, faculty, and students to want to comply with this new law. For some, they consider making it a requirement for graduation but that route raises additional concerns. The student may opt to wait until the end of their educational career to take the required courses and in effect, defeating its purpose.

Other campuses are considering making it a requirement for registration. Students who do not wish to take the courses will not be permitted to enroll in the classes they need in order to complete their education. It is clear, that while the law has found a favorable following in many cases, there are several issues that still need to be addressed in this regard.

How will a college or university be judged on its efforts to implement this new law?

There is also the issue of how to determine the success of any educational institution that is expected to meet these new requirements. Administrators at every institution will have to define and find a way to measure their success in terms of compliance. Should this be determined by the percentage of students that have completed the course or should it be set by some other parameter? Since the penalties for non-compliance can ultimately be damaging to the educational institution, it is in the institution’s best interest to find out exactly how their rate of success will be measured within the guidelines of this new Campus SaVE Act.

Without a doubt, the idea of making our educational institutions across the nation safer is an important goal that everyone should be concerned with. However, the new law still leaves behind numerous questions that must be answered or at the very least clarified in order for any of them to see any type of measurable success in implementation.

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image courtesy: johnloo@flickr