CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University has introduced a new series of required online courses aimed at combating alcohol abuse and sexual assault.

The on-line programs will reach approximately 6,400 students, said Rob Reff, coordinator of substance abuse prevention programs within OSU's Student Health Services Department.

Incoming first-year students to OSU's Corvallis campus will be required to take AlcoholEdu, which is designed to help students make informed and healthy choices regarding alcohol and other drug use. It is not an anti-alcohol campaign, according to administrators, but rather an educational program giving students the tools they need in situations where drugs and alcohol are involved.

OSU is also requiring the sexual violence prevention course HAVEN for all incoming students - including those at OSU-Cascades and through Ecampus - in order to comply with the federal Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act that went into effect in March of 2014. This course helps educate students on sexual assault, consent, and how to be an active bystander.

 The OSU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is requiring both programs for all its athletes.  

"OSU believes it is the responsibility of all students, faculty, and staff to create a community that encourages and promotes the well-being of our campus and the broader community," Reff, said. "These two programs will provide all OSU students with an understanding of not only how to keep themselves safe but how to help fellow students."

Students must complete these programs prior to arriving on campus for fall term 2014.  While at Oregon State, students will receive additional prevention and education on these topics from Student Health Services, University Housing and Dining Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and other departments.

Program administrators say these combined efforts will help students achieve academic success, health, and wellness while fostering a community of care for one another.

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Robert Reff, 541-737-7564