Controversies

'Gender violence' test mandatory for incoming students at Iowa college

Kirkwood Community College.

Kirkwood Community College.  (Google Street View)

A college in Iowa is demanding many of its students pass a 60-minute online course on “gender violence” before they are allowed to attend classes in the spring semester.

Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids called the course “Not Anymore: Gender Violence Prevention Requirement.” Some of the topics covered reportedly included bystander intervention, sexual assault and domestic violence.

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One student told The College Fix that the course was heavily biased against men when it came to consent.

The school issued a statement to FoxNews.com, saying all colleges are mandated to conduct education programs on the topic.

"Violence, including sexual violence, is a serious problem on college campuses and our society in general, and that problem negatively impacts both women and men," the statement read. "Kirkwood Community College feels strongly about the importance of educating students on this topic."

The federal government, citing estimates that 1 in 5 women has been sexually assaulted while in college, has stepped up pressure on higher education institutions to improve their response to allegations of assault. More than 200 schools are under sexual violence investigations by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights; noncompliance could lead to loss of federal funding.

Kirkwood officials said all new students, except for those in high school, would need to take the test.

To be sure, Kirkwood is not the only school in the country to make an effort to educate students about the issue. At Connecticut College, which has about 1,900 students, efforts have grown in recent years to fight sexual assault.

Freshmen at that school attend a mandatory orientation session on preventing sexual violence, speakers address the topic at panels for prospective students, and some 30 student volunteers promote a program that encourages students to see it as a collective responsibility to stop sexual assault. One of the overall aims is to teach people how and when to intervene through videos, role-playing and other exercises, school officials said.

FoxNews.com's Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report.