College of Charleston takes new approach to sexual misconduct education

College of Charleston takes new approach to sexual misconduct education

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - College of Charleston is starting the school year with a new way to combat sexual misconduct on campus.

The College of Charleston's Department of Public Safety tweeted a link to two videos about sexual misconduct on Tuesday, asking students to watch the material.

The videos are part of the school's "It's Your Place" campaign.

The program combats sexual misconduct on campus by encouraging bystander intervention.

"If something's happening and you see something that doesn't seem right or anything that just looks off to you, they want you to know what to do to step in," said College of Charleston student Morgan Wiggins.

Bystander intervention encourages students who see sexual misconduct to step in and take action.

Wiggins helps educate new students about the same concept as an orientation leader.

"With being in a downtown area, it's very important to public safety and to our campus to keep our students safe," said Wiggins.

The campaign started in 2014, but mainly as a research project.

For the first time this year, the college will offer a for-credit class students can take to learn about sexual misconduct.

"We've set up a peer education group that's actually an on campus class that students take for credit," said Alison Berk, the Coordinator of Prevention Education Initiatives and Student Conduct at the College of Charleston. "And they're responsible for conducting workshops for other students on how to be a good bystander."

Berk is heading this campaign and says they're already happy with the results.

"The feedback we've gotten is that they're really excited to be able to make a difference in their community that way," said Berk.

That's a difference Wiggins hopes she can see in the rate of sexual misconduct at her school.

"I would like to see, especially on campus or around campus, it severely decrease," said Wiggins. "Having that and having the safety and having the perfect environment of a college campus, that would be amazing."

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