Modules are a waste of time
Washington University recently concluded its investigation into the violation by fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, listing out a series of punishments the members must complete. Among them are University-run modules relating to bystander intervention and alcohol awareness. While this punishment may seem well-intentioned, I have significant doubts about its actual effectiveness. Modules such as these, for all intents and purposes, are a complete waste of time. Their format promotes little incentive to actually pay attention or learn anything. Modules are dumb, pointless and don’t actually promote any semblance of a legitimate education.
Every incoming freshman student at Wash. U. is required to complete the “Think About It” module on sexual violence and alcohol education before arriving to campus in the fall. This program includes several short video clips, interactive scenarios and multiple choice questions on handling various situations. While this program includes much needed valuable information for any college student, the format of the program does not actually promote retention. The video clips can be easily ignored by just pressing play and ignoring it by checking one’s phone for a minute or two. The multiple choice questions do not take any real effort either. The program does not allow you to move on from a question until you have answered it correctly. Because of this, one can just randomly click on answers until they get the right one without actually having to read the question. Other parts of the program require you to just click around on random characters to hear each of their perspectives. Again, just like the videos, these can be easily ignored. Other modules I have done since arriving at Wash. U. have pretty much followed the same format.
Using modules as a means to punish and educate AEPi is simply a waste of time and effort on the part of the University. Why do they expect it to help this time? If “Think About It” and the other sexual assault, violence, alcohol and drug-related modules didn’t teach them, why do they expect that another one will? All it would do is take up about a half an hour of their time where they have to sit behind a computer and haphazardly click around until the module is finished. There should be no expectation that another module will make any improvements to the student body nor should they assume that individuals will be actively engaged in the material.
If Wash. U. really wants to promote a legitimate education on sexual assault, violence, alcohol and drugs, they should institute more actively engaging programs and classes. Programs such as “The Date” and “Rewind Blurred Lines” are good ways to actively engage students in real education on these topics. Also, instituting some kind of required class to teach and assess each individual’s knowledge would be far more beneficial, as it would actually promote and enforce an education. If Wash. U. truly wants to punish AEPi and deter future similar issues from students, their effort to educate and really drill home the information should be more than just a couple clicks of a mouse.