About the Project

Mission & Focus Areas

Our Mission

Sexual violence, as well as the norms and behaviors that perpetuate it, impact everyone's ability to thrive intellectually, socially, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Dartmouth seeks to foster a community in which all members have the support of their peers and the institution to challenge the norms that allow power-based violence to persist. All members of the Dartmouth community should expect safety and accountability.


To put our mission into action, we identified four behavioral outcomes (focus areas) that will indicate that we are fulfilling our mission to shift the culture and create a climate where we significantly reduce, if not eliminate, sexual violence in our community. By engaging with the project, students will ideally show the following positive changes in behavior:

  • Increased utilization of Resources and Support Services by students in need (including an increase in students referring their peers)
  • Increased proportion of students having Positive Relationships & Positive Sexual Experiences
  • Increased Respectful Communication and interactions between individuals and across difference
  • Increased acts of Bystander Intervention (before, during, and after an incident)

Project Development

  • Assembled a small working group of students, faculty, and staff
  • Researched evidence-based interventions and prevention practices
  • Reviewed Title IX and the Clery Act to align the project with federal guidelines
  • Explored curriculum and prevention strategies at other institutions
  • Constructed a logic model to guide our work and evaluate efficacy
  • Conducted an internal inventory of relevant programs and practices already in place at Dartmouth
  • Reviewed and incorporated student feedback into curriculum development, design, and framework


To provide comprehensive prevention and education, students will engage with four experiences (milestones) each year that align with each of the four focus areas:

  • Resources and Support Services
  • Positive Relationships/Sex
  • Respectful Communication
  • Bystander Intervention

Many milestones will be infused into existing Dartmouth experiences and be appropriately timed to students' intellectual, cognitive, and social development. Occurring both in and outside of the classroom, milestones will include varied teaching methods to account for different types of learners, provide experiential opportunities with interactive instruction, and focus on active skill building. By providing a menu of options, students will be able to participate in learning opportunities that are theory driven, socioculturally relevant, and suited to their interests, learning style, and time constraints.

Common Experience

Similar to First-Year Orientation, upperclass students will have two common experiences as a class to come together and discuss, reflect, and put their learning into action. To provide a relevant and meaningful experience, these milestones will be developed with students in collaboration with other campus and academic departments and likely connect with the new House System.

Implementation & Progress

To reach our intended behavioral outcomes, it will take several years to develop, pilot, and assess new experiences to populate the menu of options; integrate experiences into student and academic life; devise, implement, and refine a web-based tracking system; build an infrastructure for accountability and sustainability; and assess the overall efficacy of the project.

In Fall 2016, we began loosely piloting new first-year experiences with the Class of 2020 and experimented with tracking systems to capture students' interactions with the milestones. Beginning Fall 2017, we continue the work of the previous years including a soft launch with the Class of 2021; announcing the Project at Orientation; forming a Student Advisory Board; revising, evaluating, and assessing current programs; laying the groundwork for an overarching assessment plan; and building cross-campus partnerships.