Campus News

SexWIse kicks off first UW-Madison mandatory educational workshop

The SexWIse program, led in part by End Violence on Campus, kicked off Wednesday to promote dialogue about healthy sexual relationships on campus.

Image By: Ben Golden

SexWIse Workshop kicked off its opening event at Sellery Hall Wednesday night.

During the 90-minute workshop, the first of three workshops in the GetWIse series, students held group conversations about sex, relationships and sexual assault prevention on the UW-Madison campus.

Sam Johnson, violence prevention specialist at University Health Services and program manager for End Violence on Campus, led the soft opening of SexWIse.

“The workshop is meant to feel like a 90-minute experience where students can talk about what it’s like to hook up or have sex in college,” Johnson said.

SexWIse is just one option first-year and transfer students have in order to complete the in-person educational requirement for UW-Madison.

Other in-person options include DatingWIse, which emphasizes healthy relationships and dating violence, and ListenWIse, which aims to build a skill base for supporting victims of sexual assault.

Students looking to satisfy the requirement who prefer a less intimate setting can attend a theatre-based performance at the Overture Center run by UW-Madison’s Sex Signals program throughout the next two weeks.

Prior to this year, the online program Tonight was the only educational requirement concerning sexual assault for incoming freshman and transfer students.

Tonight, similar to the WIse series, aims to prevent sexual assault and dating violence. Both the online and in-person requirements are now needed for new students on campus.

The requirement changed last year after the university participated in an AAU Climate Survey. Results revealed that 1 in 4 undergraduate women will experience some form of sexual assault at UW-Madison.

“Key recommendations were to expand the first-year education program to a multiple-dose prevention program,” Johnson said. “Tonight is a really great start, but it cannot be the end of the conversation.”

Johnson also expressed the goals for both online and in-person programs to promote bystander readiness among students.

“Hopefully in creating a dialogue students can think, ‘If I’m feeling this way about sex and dating and hooking up, my peers might feel this way, too,’” Johnson said.

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