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UW-Stevens Point officials say education is key to preventing sexual assaults on campus


STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) -- UW-Stevens Point officials are joining the state Department of Justice in helping stop and prevent sexual assault and abuse on campus.

UWSP Dean of Students Troy Seppelt says they're stepping up their education efforts to stop the problem before it starts. "This year we are requiring both incoming new first year and transfer students, basically any new student to the university, to do an online education program that talks both about alcohol and sexual assault."

A primary part of that education is the new Bystander Intervention program which aims to teach students how to stop situations before they escalate. "It's the idea that anyone and everyone should intervene if they see something they don't believe is right." Seppelt says they also want to make it extremely easy and discreet for victims to report abuse. "A student can speak with any faculty member, any professional staff person, and all of them have access to our online reporting system to gather that information."

Students and parents should expect to seeing that program during orientation next week, and Seppelt says it's something they're proud of creating. "Our work to ensuring all students are well connected to understanding how they can report, where they can seek support, and where they can get education. And so our orientation program Think About It and Bystander Intervention will literally be open to everyone if we can make it so."

Move in day on campus is set for next week Thursday.