Students confused about legitimacy of sexual assault prevention training email
September 13, 2021
UVM students are unsure if the recent Sexual Assault Prevention Course email is real or a scam.
EVERFI sent an email to UVM students on Sept. 6 stating that students are required to take a sexual assault training course by Sept. 30. The training stated UVM is providing the course in response to students voicing demands last spring.
However, after gathering a consensus from 30 students in the Dudley H. Davis Center Sept. 9, 27 of them responded that they were confused when the email surfaced. They expressed suspicion that the email was a scam.
The email was an automated message from EVERFI, a digital education program that primarily facilitates sensible financial decisions for students, according to their website.
“You have a new assignment,” the email states in orange and blue text – not the typical green and gold UVM students are used to seeing in their inbox.
However, according to UVM’s Enterprise Technology Services Knowledge Base website, the UVM Phishbowl, a resource that helps students identify and report suspicious emails, advises students not to click on links in emails that do not direct to a UVM website.
“I was a little surprised to see that it was just like, ‘you have to complete this,’” SGA Vice President and junior Olivija Stevens said. “I thought there was going to be an email to preface [it].”
Stephens was elected SGA Vice President in April, and has been involved with sexual assault advocacy on campus and drafting demands to the administration to further address the issue. She said she’s concerned that some students may fail to complete the training altogether.
“I think for first-years who are just learning how to catch up with emails […] there’s a possibility that it slips through the cracks,” Stephens said.
Leslie Parise, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, sent a reminder email to CALS students about the training Sept. 10.
“The trainings are part of our ongoing work to building a culture of belonging and moving UVM forward towards an environment that is safe, equitable and just,” the email stated. “As Dean of CALS, I am fully committed to advancing these values in the College and am asking all CALS faculty, staff and students to engage in these training.
Title IX Coordinator Nicholas Stanton and Erica Caloiero, vice provost for student affairs, declined to comment on the nature of the email.