Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative 2016 FAQ

1. What is sexual respect?
Sexual respect is the commitment to communicating and acting in interpersonal relationships with integrity and respect for others, and to each of us doing what we can to create an environment where sexual and gender-based misconduct is not tolerated.
2. Why have a Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative? 
The Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative asks all students to reflect on the link between sexual respect and membership in the Columbia community – and in doing so, provides every student with a focused invitation, during the academic year, to contribute to the campus climate on issues that can profoundly shape both academic and student life.
You can read the goals of the Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship here.

3. But I already learned about sexual respect in my pre-arrival tutorial and during orientation.  Why do this now? 
At the start of every academic year, we have a renewed opportunity to shape our community, and the way we treat each other – including sexual respect – is fundamental to the community we create.  Also, the Sexual Respect Initiative covers a broader range of topics, gives you a lot of choice, and invites you to small group discussions, acclaimed film screenings and an invitation to create your own participation option, all different from orientation and your online tutorial.  (See Question 5 for more about options.)
4. Who participates in the Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative?  And what’s the deadline?
All Columbia students are strongly encouraged to participate and all students new to Columbia, or new to their school at Columbia, are required to take part. The participation deadline is October 30, 2016.
5. How do I participate?
The Sexual Respect Initiative offers many options and you can choose as many as you'd like. The options include workshops, film screenings with discussion, online video collections with follow-up Q&A, an online tutorial for graduate students, online documentaries with Q&A, resources for healing and resilience especially for survivors of sexual violence, and independent projects.
View the range of options here.
6.  I am required to do take the Initiative.  How do I confirm my participation? 
If you are required to complete the Sexual Respect Initiative, you must confirm in CourseWorks for your participation to be counted! Here’s how:
i. Visit CourseWorks and log in with your UNI and password.
ii. Select My Projects in the left column.
iii. Select 2016-17 Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative.
iv. Find the option you selected (i.e. Film Screening, Workshop, etc.) and follow the instructions for that option.
6a. I went to an in-person event and they took attendance. Do I still need to go to CourseWorks and confirm my participation?
Yes. You will not have completed the Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative until you confirm your participation in CourseWorks.
Once you have completed in CourseWorks, you will get a confirmation and evaluation email.
7. How do I confirm my participation if I am a returning student (not required to participate)?
It is very important that everyone’s participation is counted so that we - students, faculty and administrators who create the Sexual Respect Initiative – can continue to improve it.  Please tell us about your participation here.
8. How much time do I have to complete the Sexual Respect Initiative?
You have from September 19 through October 30 to participate. (Note: Columbia Law School students will receive instructions for the spring from your dean of students.)
9. I've had a traumatic experience and would prefer not to participate in the Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative. What can I do?
Students who would prefer not to participate due to past trauma may contact your Dean of Students with a request to be excused. They will be able to remove the hold on your account if you have had one placed as a result of not completing the requirement. Please note that your Dean of Students is not a confidential resource. You will not be asked to provide any details about your experience. 
10. I need an accommodation from Disability Services. What should I do?
Disability Services  provides accommodations for registered students for workshops, film screenings and the other participation options, with advance request. 
11. How can I get involved in helping with the Initiative?
You can complete an evaluation of this year's Initiative after you participate, download our poster and help spread the word and motivate your classmates; participate in our social media (use this shareable if you'd like!), write a blog post for the Office of University Life’s website about what sexual respect means to you, and/or submit your interest in being part of an advisory group that works on developing the Initiative this year and for the future. Fill out this form or email
12. Who developed the Sexual Respect Initiative? 
Students, faculty and administrators at Columbia – including many experts in public health, gender and sexuality studies, sociology, and social work – developed the Initiative with leadership from the Office of University Life.  The Office of University Life reviews student feedback and evaluations from the Initiative each year to refine content offerings and improve the Initiative.
13. I go to Barnard. Can I participate?
Yes - however, as Barnard offers its own programming, Columbia students will have priority for workshop registration.

Sexual Respect and Community Citizenship Initiative Contacts
Send your questions about the Initiative, technical questions, or problems with CourseWorks to


Return to Sexual Respect Initiative main page.