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Awareness, Education, Prevention and Training

Sexual misconduct may include any form of unwanted, unwelcome, forceful or coercive sexual contact. These behaviors include but are not limited to: sexual harassment, rape, stalking, and sexual assault.

Sexual violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, economic status, or profession. These behaviors can happen between strangers or more commonly by an acquaintances, but may also occur between individuals in dating or long-term relationships.

Campus-Wide Programs

Through the Red Zone education campaign WCU educates students to bring awareness to and to prevent sexual misconduct and violence.

The 'Red Zone' is commonly known as the period of time for college students during which they are at higher risk of experiencing sexual violence, coercion, and/or manipulation. The 'Red Zone' is typically defined as the first six weeks of the semester but we will host Red Zone activities and programs throughout the year, such as Take Back the Night, to foster an informed student body.

The mission of the Safe Zone Program at Western Carolina University is to provide training, support, resources, and a network of allies who are committed to enhancing the campus and local community’s understanding of gender and sexuality.

Step UP! is a prosocial behavior and bystander intervention program that educates individuals to be proactive in helping others. Teaching people about the determinants of prosocial behavior makes them more aware of why they sometimes don’t help. As a result they are more likely to help in the future.

The goals of Step UP! are to:

  • Raise awareness of helping behaviors.
  • Increase motivation to help.
  • Develop skills and confidence when responding to problems or concerns.
  • Ensure the well-being of oneself and others.


All incoming first-year undergraduate, graduate, and transfer students are encouraged to take the Vector Solutions Sexual Violence Education course.  Vector Solutions is an online, video-based program aimed at reducing campus sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking by equipping students with realistic, actionable bystander intervention tools. The program is also available to all WCU students through Vector Solutions by using their WCU SSO credentials. 

In compliance with the 2020 Title IX regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Education, all materials used to train the Title IX Coordinator, Campus Investigator, hearing and appellate officers, and any person who facilitates an informal resolution process will be available below. 

Access Title IX Training Materials

Programs on Demand

WCU offers many programs and trainings that are available by request.

The Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) System is a program of realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques. It is a comprehensive course for women that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on self-defense training.

This course is taught by Certified RAD Instructors.  We offer several course options:

  • R.A.D. Express: This is designed as a one hour brief overview of the program.  This includes discussion on awareness and risk reduction as well as a self-defense component.
  • Nine hour full program:  This is the RAD basic physical defense course.  This course includes lecture, discussion, and self-defense techniques suitable for women of all ages and abilities.  Upon completion of the course, R.A.D. provides a free lifetime return and practice policy, honored worldwide.
  • Twelve hour full program with simulation:  The twelve hour program provides the same course content as the nine hour course and includes simulation.  Simulation provides women with an opportunity to use their new techniques in a series of practical, controlled simulation exercises. 

    Request a RAD Program

The Dating/Domestic Violence and Stalking Program focuses on defining and understanding domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.  Officers will also discuss consent and available on-campus and off-campus resources. 

Program Request Form

Sexual Assault Risk Awareness program is aimed at defining and understanding consent and providing victim services information.  Discussion also includes strategies for risk reduction, primary prevention, and bystander intervention. 

Program Request Form

This training provides background and detail about Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which prohibits sex-based discrimination, including sexual harassment. The presentation explores the requirements of Title IX and accompanying regulations and WCU’s processes and procedures for addressing Title IX Sexual Harassment.

To request this program, contact the Title IX Coordinator at 828.227.7116 or via email.

This training provides information on the various policies and methods the University uses to address sexual misconduct, including what actions are prohibited, intersection between criminal law and University policy, and obligations of employees and students.

To request this program, contact the Title IX Coordinator at 828.227.7116 or via email.

COPE is a self-guided series that teaches skills to handle painful thoughts and feelings effectively, so they impact and influence us less.

Have you been in a situation that felt completely overwhelming? Crisis Situation Skills training provides three things you can do to navigate crisis situations and avoid making a tough situation worse.

Who is this training meant for?

  • Campus student leaders/RAs
  • Any faculty/staff/administrators who want to learn how to respond to victims of crime

Role of a Peacekeeper

  • Acting as a bridge between people who have experienced victimization and campus/community resources

In this training, you will learn to:

    • Respond appropriately
    • Build trust
    • Set the tone for further action
    • Connect individuals to resources
    • Understand police reporting
    • Learn the ins and outs of campus advocacy, i.e. what you need to know before you interact with victims, for example:
      • CSA
      • Title IX
      • Clery

For more information or to schedule a training, please contact Dr. Cyndy Caravelis.

University Committees and Student Groups

The Sexual Harassment Prevention Committee is a long standing committee that serves as an advisory body on matters pertaining to sexual harassment/violence and related campus safety.  The Committee is chaired by the Title IX Coordinator.  More information about the Committee can be found in WCU Policy 129 – Title IX Sexual Harassment.  

SASA is a group of students at Western Carolina University dedicated to promoting awareness of sexual assault, providing access to resources for survivors, and influencing change in policy.

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