Safety First: students expected to complete AlcoholEDU and SAPU Everfi training

By Dixon Cline
Contributing Writer

Alcohol abuse and sexual predation are two crucial problems that universities across the country are working to resolve. Beginning in 2019, the University of the South has enlisted the services of Everfi to confront these challenges through online training programs.

Everfi describes themselves as a program that “partners with organizations, institutions, and educators to revolutionize the way education is developed and delivered.” 

According to Director of Community Standards Rachel Champagne, JED Campus connected the University with Everfi so that the University could participate with 12 other small private colleges between 2019 and 2021. The University had previously work with Everfi but ended its contract due to cost. After leaving Everfi several years ago, the University worked with 3rd Millennium Classrooms, another organization that uses internet courses to promote positive behavioral change.

Champagne stated that the University has a grant from JED Campus, which according to their website, “is a signature program of The Jed Foundation designed to guide schools through a collaborative process of comprehensive systems, program and policy development with customized support to build upon existing student mental health, substance use and suicide prevention efforts.”

Everfi has training programs for the private sector as well as for students from kindergarten throughout their primary education. 3rd Millennium Classrooms, on the other hand, primarily has programs for schools, individuals, and courts. 

Over the years, 3rd Millenium Classrooms also developed courses regarding drug use, impulse control, consent, relationship violence, raising awareness for nicotine use, and created the first online sex trafficking victim identification training.

The University had developed and enforced their own prevention program for alcohol misuse called Think First, and had the grant-funded program from August of 2009 until 2015. According to the Student Wellness Center website, “Think First has led to measurable improvements in the culture and overall health of the students on our campus. In 2011, Sewanee was honored to have ‘Think First’ designated one of the top national programs and as a finalist for the ‘Prevention Excellence Award’ by Outside the Classroom.”

The University expects every student to complete Everfi’s courses of AlcoholEDU and Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates (or SAPU) by the start of the school year. The University will then administer shorter and more targeted follow-up courses to returning students in the future. Champagne informed The Purple that when she talked to upperclassmen that completed both the Everfi and previous systems, they said that the Everfi’s were more engaging and informative.

Failure to complete the courses will result in a hold on the student’s account, but students that have at least started the courses were allowed to move in if they agreed to complete the courses by check-in. According to Champaign, only 13 students started the programs but failed to complete them in time, and the only ones to not have started either of the programs were a few upperclassmen.