Op-Ed, Opinion

OP-ED: BU should offer seminars on sexual assault

Op-Eds do not reflect the editorial opinion of The Daily Free Press. They are solely the opinion of the author.

Boston University Alert Service: “On Oct. 18 a female student reported that… an unknown male suspect entered her room… and sexually assaulted her.”

As a BU student myself, receiving this text was terrifying. It is incidents like these that show why sexual assault needs to be properly addressed at BU. While the administration has acknowledged the issue in BU’s [Sexual Misconduct] Climate Survey, no preventative measures have been taken. This needs to change.

Through the course Project Citizen, a group of fellow students and I came up with a new policy for sexual assault at BU. We propose that BU implement an annual, mandatory seminar on sexual assault to educate students on facts, consent and how to be an active bystander, as well as raise awareness, promote advocacy and start a discussion about sexual assault at BU. Our goal is to make the seminar engaging and educational, so even potentially reluctant students will pay attention, learn and have candid discussions. If we can get students informed and talking, we have a much better chance of preventing sexual assault.

Want to support this policy? Email or tweet Dean Elmore using #BUPreventionPolicy, telling him you want sexual assault prevention measures taken at BU.

Alissa Winter, [email protected]

Project Citizen Team

Boston University School of Education


  1. We already do this during orientation. I can see the potential of adding a discussion component to that, but a new seminar would be redundant.

  2. What you are asking for already exists at BU. Step Up Step In BU (SUSIBU) is an interactive program that teaches valuable skills such as how to recognize, prevent and intervene in situations of gender based violence. You can learn more about the 2 hour session on the Sexual Assault Response & Prevention website.
    New this academic year is a “booster” program- SUSIBU2- for those who have completed SUSIBU and want to expand on what they’ve learned.