Frequently Asked Questions

Developed in collaboration with:

the SVPP Student Advisory Board

What is SVPP?

The Sexual Violence Prevention Project (SVPP) is the development of a comprehensive and mandatory four-year prevention curriculum for all undergraduate students.

The workshops and programs in the curriculum are asset-based and designed to strengthen and cultivate positive behavior, change campus culture, and ultimately work to end sexual assault, dating violence, stalking and harassment, collectively sexual violence. The curriculum aims to prevent sexual violence through skill development around supporting survivors, developing positive relationships and sexual behavior, using your power to foster equity and belonging, and bystander intervention.

Why is the College developing a four-year sexual violence prevention curriculum?

Sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, and harassment are concerns both nationally and here on campus, where members of our community have been deeply affected by the harmful behavior of others. In order to shift the culture, we need to do something drastically different. In 2015, President Hanlon announced, as part of his Moving Dartmouth Forward (MDF) plan, that we would "introduce a comprehensive and mandatory four-year sexual violence prevention and education program for all undergraduate students." This initiative is the Sexual Violence Prevention Project (SVPP).

Why do I have to do this? What's the point?

Unfortunately, most people are or will be affected in some way by sexual assault, dating violence, stalking, or harassment, and that's not ok. This is a cultural problem not just at Dartmouth, but nationally and globally. If every one of us learned and used the skills to prevent harm before it occurred, we could create a better and safer Dartmouth, and a better and safer world. The skills acquired through the SVPP are not only useful at Dartmouth, but are intended to be transferable to students' personal and professional lives long after Dartmouth. Changing culture starts with us, all of us, changing one behavior at a time.

How will we know if this is working?

We are working with national experts in sexual violence prevention research at the University of New Hampshire's Prevention Innovations Research Center to develop a mixed-methods longitudinal assessment and evaluation plan for the SVPP to determine its effectiveness. Evaluation efforts are critical for understanding if and how the project is fostering the intended outcomes. We will being this multi-year evaluation Fall 2020 with the Culture, Behavior, and Experiences (CBE) survey and research.

Visit Evaluation FAQs for more information about the CBE survey and research.

Is this really mandatory?

Yes. The SVPP is part of the undergraduate Dartmouth experience and required for all students, starting with the class of 2023. Students who do not complete their requirements will be in violation of our Community Standards.

This is not intended to be punitive, but we do believe that it will take all of us working together to prevent violence, and participation is critical to being a member of the Dartmouth community. 

If students are having difficulty completing their requirements for personal reasons and need additional time and/or an accommodation, they can contact SVPP@Dartmouth.edu to make arrangements. To request a waiver or an accommodation from a confidential resource, students can contact Bailey Ray (WISE Campus Advocate) campus@wiseuv.org or Daveen Litwin (College Chaplain) at  College.Chaplain@dartmouth.edu. We want this to work for you, not against you.

Why Do Students Participate in Multiple SVPP Experiences? 

We truly believe students deserve to be a part of a campus community where sexual violence doesn't happen. As a community, we need to get real about what it's going to take to get there. We know from research that one-off programming is not effective and is not empirically shown to create widespread change. We have no interest in continuing to do something that we know doesn't work. Research shows that to really create change, we all need to be engaging with prevention experiences that are comprehensive and occur regularly enough to strengthen our skills and actually produce the changes we're hoping for. This means that starting with the class of '23, all Dartmouth students will participate in sexual violence prevention experiences throughout their time at Dartmouth.

Is this different from MAV/SAPA/SPCSA?

Yes. SVPP is a comprehensive four-year curriculum.

MAV (Movement Against Violence) was a student organization that facilitated conversations surrounding sexual violence in Greek houses and other student communities. MAV was dissolved in 2019 as a result of an increased institutional focus on violence prevention and part of a long-term strategic shift in sexual violence prevention efforts on campus. The SVPP will provide violence prevention for all students on campus, including Greek houses, and students interested in facilitating programs can become SVPP Student Facilitators.

SPCSA (Student and Presidential Committee on Sexual Assault) is a group of students that act as an intermediary between the administration, faculty/staff, alumni and the student body. The board solicits student concerns, conceptualizes new projects and policies, advises the administration, and shares updates and information about sexual violence, with campus.

SAPA (Sexual Assault Peer Alliance) is a student group that provides support to peers who have experienced harm associated with sexual violence. SAPAs receive formal training around sexual assault, trauma response, resources, active listening, and more to support and help connect survivors to additional resources. 

Who works on the SVPP?

Check out the SVPP Team page to see everyone on the team!

How are students involved in SVPP?

Students are involved in lots of ways and make up a large part of the SVPP Team!

Students facilitate the First-Year Sessions, co-facilitate the Greek Pre-recruitment DBI workshop with staff, and help with the SVPP New Student Orientation programs; they are on the Student Advisory Board and the Student Athlete Advisory Board where they conduct interviews with other students, help develop and pilot prototypes for new components and give feedback to help build and shape every step of the implementation and curriculum; student interns take lead on specific projects and work more closely with the professional staff; students participate in focus groups as new components are built; SVPP staff work closely with many student communities and attend meetings with student organizations to collect their insights, and all student feedback from SVPP surveys is read and used to make changes. Students also developed this FAQ!

Visit the Get Involved page for more information and additional ways to contribute!

How can I get involved?

There are so many different ways to help out! Talking about the importance of prevention and showing support for the SVPP in clubs, houses, teams, or friend groups doesn't take much effort and is a great way to start! To get more involved, check out the Get Involved page to learn about student facilitators, the Student Advisory Board, internships, and other opportunities!

What does the SVPP First-Year Experience look like?

Visit the First-Year Experience page to learn more.

How does the SVPP support survivors?

This curriculum was created because we care about survivors, and we are working to reduce the number of students affected by sexual violence. While the SVPP does not provide direct support for survivors, one of the four overarching goals of the curriculum is to increase every student's ability to support survivors. Using a trauma-informed approach, students can learn skills to minimize further harm and connect their peers to additional support. Additionally, we always provide connections to other resources that do give direct support to survivors, on our website and in workshops.

What are the resources if someone has been sexually assaulted, is in an abusive relationship, or is being stalked or harassed?

There are a lot, including 24/7 confidential support and counseling, medical care and evidence collection, anonymous and formal reporting options to the College and/or the police, support for academic and housing concerns, safety planning, etc. Here is a list of the sexual misconduct resources both on and off campus and Dartmouth's Title IX website provides additional information about options.