About the Sexual Respect Component

Participation is required for all new students. 

September 26, 2022 - November 4, 2022

Sexual Respect — an important part of Columbia’s Community Citizenship Initiative — asks each of us to promote a campus culture that upholds sexual respect and unequivocally rejects sexual harassment, sexual assault and other forms of gender-based misconduct or violence.

This Initiative offers you a variety of compelling and thought-provoking workshops, award-winning films, digital projects and online resources to choose from, as well as the option to complete an independent project. And, because the Sexual Respect component is all about empowering students to get help when and where they need it, you’ll also learn about the wide range of support services Columbia offers, as well as concrete steps you can take to combat misconduct in any setting.

All students new to a Columbia degree program are required to participate, and everyone else is strongly encouraged! If you are not required but would still like to participate in the Initiative please contact us at [email protected]. Getting started is easy; just choose one (or more) of the options below.

Workshops and Events

Gain the tools to maintain healthy relationships, understand consent and bystander intervention and help people who have experienced sexual violence.

Online Video Collections

Learn about consent, bystander intervention, gender and sex.

Online Documentaries

These acclaimed feature-length films will help you think critically about the links between gender stereotyping, harassment and violence and identify barriers to overcoming violence.

Resources for Healing and Resilience

Choose from books, online resources or workshops for survivors. These resources include personal stories and reflections about childhood sexual abuse, anti-LGBTQ violence and PTSD, as well as skills for healing and recovery.

Online Tutorials

Complete a 35-minute online tutorial that reviews many of the policies and themes discussed in the Sexual Assault Prevention tutorial you completed before the start of the semester. The tutorial also provides information about New York state law.

Independent Projects

Develop a project that aligns with your interests or professional development goals. You can work individually or with a small group.

Sexual Respect Component Goals

Our overarching goals are to prevent sexual violence within our community and to share University resources and expectations with students on this critical topic. We aim to achieve them by: 

  • Sharing knowledge about key concepts related to sexual respect, such as:
    • Affirmative consent
    • Healthy versus problematic behaviors
    • Bystander intervention strategies 
    • The connections between gender stereotypes, harassment and violence
  • Increasing awareness and use of University resources related to sexual respect
  • Dispelling myths about sexual violence to create a more inclusive community
  • Empowering students to work towards the elimination of all risks for sexual violence at Columbia and in the broader society

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Sexual respect is the commitment to communicating and acting in interpersonal relationships with integrity and respect for others, and to each of us doing what we can to create an environment where sexual and gender-based misconduct are not tolerated.

In addition, it is a component of the Community Citizenship Initiative, which asks all students to promote a campus culture that unequivocally rejects sexual harassment, sexual assault and other forms of gender-based misconduct or violence.

 

The Sexual Respect component provides every student with a focused invitation during the academic year to learn about issues that can profoundly shape academic and student life, as well as campus culture.

Our overarching goals are to prevent sexual violence within our community and to share University resources and expectations with students on this critical topic. We aim to achieve them by: 

  • Sharing knowledge about key concepts related to sexual respect, such as:
    • Affirmative consent
    • Healthy versus problematic behaviors
    • Bystander intervention strategies 
    • The connections between gender stereotypes, harassment and violence
  • Increasing awareness and use of University resources related to sexual respect.
  • Dispelling myths about sexual violence to create a more inclusive community. 
  • Empowering students to work towards the elimination of all risks for sexual violence at Columbia and in the broader society.

The pre-orientation tutorials provide an introduction to policies, values and resources at the University and to the five steps of bystander intervention (Step Up!). The Sexual Respect component of the Community Citizenship Initiative invites students to join in conversation with classmates to examine the link between sexual respect and membership in the University community. You can choose the option and the topic that appeals to you most, or design your own independent project.

All Columbia students are welcome to participate. All students who are new to any degree program at Columbia are required to complete at least one of several options available. The participation deadline is early November. If you are a student leader or athlete who completed the Sexual Respect for Student-Athletes and Student Leaders training this Fall, you have met your requirement and you do not also need to complete the Sexual Respect component of the Community Citizenship Initiative. If you have any questions, write to the Community Citizenship team at [email protected].

Read how to participate here. You are only required to participate in one workshop, online video collection, online documentaries with Q & A or independent project, but you can participate in as many additional options as you’d like. There is also an online tutorial especially for graduate students, and resources for healing and resilience (offered especially for survivors as recommended by our partners at Sexual Violence Response).

Confirm your participation by checking in at the workshop or film screening you selected, or through CourseWorks. Please see details here.

 

Disability Services can provide accommodations for registered students to fulfill participation requirements. If you need disability accommodations, please send your request to [email protected]. Please allow at least five days to arrange for sign language interpreters or CART services.

You are encouraged to participate at any point during your enrollment in the University, even if the requirement has already been met. If you are not required to complete the Initiative but would still like to participate, please write to [email protected] and provide your UNI.

If you have concerns, please contact us at [email protected]. While we do not have an opt-out, we can help you determine how you can best satisfy this requirement. You do not need to explain, and will not be asked for details about your experience. Sexual Violence Response has also recommended resources for healing and resilience, which are designed for survivors and satisfy this requirement.

Students, faculty and administrators at Columbia — including many experts in public health, gender and sexuality studies, sociology, and social work — developed the Initiative with University Life’s leadership. University Life reviews student feedback and evaluations from the Initiative annually to refine content offerings and improve them.

Barnard offers its own programming on this topic.

Write to [email protected] with questions, technical issues or problems with CourseWorks.

The other half of the Community Citizenship Initiative is the Inclusion & Belonging component.