Grinnell College’s approach to promoting sexual respect and preventing the spectrum of sexual misconduct utilizes a best practice of public health called the socio-ecological model. This means that our prevention efforts are focused on multiple, overlapping levels of intervention: the individual level, relationship/interpersonal level, community level, and societal level. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “In order to prevent violence, it is necessary to act across multiple levels of the model at the same time. This approach is more likely to sustain prevention efforts over time than any single intervention.” Grinnell strives to use evidence-based strategies, when possible, and focuses on utilizing interventions informed by our Campus Sexual Conduct: Culture and Respect surveys administered in 2013 and 2015.

CDC's The Social-Ecological Model: A Framework for Prevention

Here are a few examples of how Grinnell provides interventions at each level, and how you can get involved:

Individual Level:

This includes any strategy aimed to promote attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that promote sexual respect and help prevent sexual misconduct. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • My Student Body online education (sexual violence module required of all students each year)
  • New Student Orientation
    • Community values session on sexual respect
    • Floor discussions on sexual respect, facilitated by SAs and SAMs
  • Pre-orientation programs
  • Active Bystander training sessions
  • Alcohol and Other Drug education sessions (specifically about alcohol and consent)
  • Awareness Week/Month programming
  • Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) training
  • Our Whole Lives (OWLS) comprehensive sexuality education training
  • Grinnell College Sexual Conduct: Culture and Respect Survey
  • Tutorial wellness sessions

Relationship/interpersonal Level:

This includes any strategy aimed to promote positive interpersonal interactions, recognizing the influence of peers, classmates, teammates, and student leaders. It also to equip students to check in with one another and develop skills to engage in healthy relationships. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Student advisor training
  • Student Athlete Mentor (SAM) training
  • PCPOP mentor training
  • Advocates training
  • Mentor in Violence Prevention (MVP) training
  • Active bystander workshops (40+/year offered on campus)
  • New Student orientation Community Values sessions
  • Awareness Week/Month programming
  • Curricular infusion of topics related to sexual respect and disrespect
  • Residential life programming
  • ACESS (student safety) training
  • Event host training (for both on- and off-campus events)

Community Level:

This includes any strategy at the college-wide level aimed to create an environment that encourages sexual respect and discourages the spectrum of sexual misconduct. Examples include (but are not limited to):

  • Comprehensive sexual respect policies and communication thereof
  • Environmental assessments of and adjustment to student social spaces
  • Substance-free residence halls
  • Substance-free programming offered regularly
  • Title IX and active bystander training required of all faculty and staff
  • ACESS (student safety) presence at on-campus events

Societal Level:

This includes any strategy that recognizes and responds to social and cultural norms that support—or fail to support-- sexual respect. Through the educational mission of Grinnell College to teach students to “evaluate critically both their own and others’ ideas”, we empower our students to challenge societal and cultural norms that fail to promote sexual respect. This education takes place both in the classroom and throughout our robust co-curricular programming and initiatives.

Interested in engaging in prevention work on campus? Please contact Jen Jacobsen, Title IX deputy coordinator for prevention, with your interest.