On September 10, 2021, Brigham Young University-Idaho sent an email to students warning them about new challenges that have been exacerbated due to online dating.
With dating apps on the rise, students are able to connect with more people than ever before. Though this new world is full of exciting prospects and new discoveries, it could also lead to new dangers.
The notice states, “for students, dating apps and social media have become a major way of meeting new people, but they have also created new challenges and safety concerns at the university.”
These new challenges can include unwanted sexual advances or assault. The university strongly points out that, “no matter how you met or where you met, no one has the right to commit unwanted sexual acts against you or violate your boundaries in any way.”
The notice also lists several guidelines that it urges students to familiarize themselves with. These are listed below:
- Exercise good judgment and be careful when using popular dating apps (Mutual, Tinder, etc.)
- Don’t take everything you read or see online at face value. It’s easy to lie online and many people do.
- Don’t allow yourself to be talked into anything. Be independent and aware in social settings. Express opinions on where to go and appropriate places to meet.
- Meet in a public place with good lighting. If the person you meet online insists you meet at his or her apartment or somewhere private, this is a red flag. A busy daytime location may not seem the ideal setting for a first date, but others will be around if an unsafe situation arises.
- Tell at least one friend where you are going and who you are meeting. Getting your date’s first and last name prior to a meeting is always a good idea.
- Remember that it takes time to build healthy relationships and to truly get to know an individual. Arrange group or double dates to give you time to get to know someone well.
- Abusive behavior has no place in any of your relationships. Warning signs of abusive behavior include threats of violence, jealousy, controlling behavior, quick romantic involvement, isolation, blaming others for feelings, and hypersensitivity. If you feel unhappy in your relationship and if you think that you might be experiencing abuse, get help. Talk to someone. You deserve better.
- If possible, make your own travel arrangements to/from a first date.
- Avoid situations where alcoholic beverages or drugs are available. If you unintentionally find yourself in a difficult situation, leave immediately and encourage your friends to leave with you.
- Do not hesitate to leave if you are in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, nervous, or afraid, even if an early departure seems rude. Exercise good judgment, and above all, trust your instincts.
Please remember that sexual misconduct and unwanted advances of any kind are never considered violations of the Honor Code.
Contact the Title IX Office or the local police for help with anything of this nature.