Recently, President Eric Kaler told the Minnesota Daily that the University of Minnesota had developed a heavily comprehensive sexual harassment and sexual assault prevention and education program. This comes at a time where the University has been involved in many sexual harassment cases — the most recent case involving an administrator in the athletics department. A report in 2015 by the Office for Higher Education posited the University had the highest number of sexual assault cases of any Minnesota college, at 47 cases reported.
One demonstration of such policy enacted recently was the creation of the Sexual Health minor in the School of Public Health. This minor, currently only available to graduate students, shows promise, considering how many issues of sexuality are related to public health. However, the University’s unwillingness to make this open to all students shows hesitation in committing to education in this field.
Furthermore, to address something so fundamental as sexual assault on campus requires a more infrastructural response. The University ought to redesign online courses that students must take, and require more personal interaction for completion of the course. This course should not be just something to complete in order to enroll for classes — rather something which our campus demands each student understand and incorporate into their day to day life. These types of actions would add more gravitas to Kaler’s commitment to reducing sexual assault on campus.