Advice and Consent
BY BRANDAN BLOM // MARCH 1, 2013 //
For the first time ever, Curry hosted an event to help teach students about the importance of getting a partner’s consent before having sex with them.
The Curry Student Center was the center of activities Wednesday night, Feb. 27. A series of interactive lessons were set up throughout the Student Center. Successful completion of a lesson earned students a small prize of candy. The first 200 students to visit each table and complete all lessons received a free T-shirt.
According to Emilie Clucas, the college’s coordinator of substance abuse and prevention education, and a co-chair of the event, the program was adapted from similar ones at Dartmouth College and Bentley College.
Each table was informative, with helpful hints and tips about safe sex, how to make sure you have consensual sex, and even what to do when you witness a dangerous and potentially criminal situation. Chelsey Kaiser, a junior education major, believed that the college’s first-ever Consent Day was a great success.
“I loved the event. I think it was a great idea,” said Kaiser. “It was great to see people learning from it …there were so many people there, and the stations were a lot of fun too.”
Clucas said the event had been in the works since last year, and it wasn’t in direct response to the sexual assault that took place on campus in late January. However, in promoting the event, the college did say it was aimed at educating students about consent as a way to prevent sexual assaults.
There were six tables in all at the event. Among those tables were the following activities:
- Consent Memory
At this table, students played a memory game in which they picked three terms from a select group and matched them to the appropriate definitions. They then had to pick which definitions matched which terms.
- Blurry Vision
Students put on “drunk goggles”—glasses with fuzzy lens—and tried to put a condom on a replica penis. This goal was to educate students about the correct way to put on a condom, as well as to show how much harder it is to do when you are drunk. Difficulty isn’t a good excuse for having unprotected sex.
- Sexy Dice
Students rolled multi-colored dice, and each color corresponded with a method of asking for consent. The purpose was to help students learn to communicate before engaging in sex, and how to recognize if they have gotten consent or not from their partner.
- These Lips Won’t Hurt
Students were given a pair of paper lips and sat down at a table. In front of them was a written description of a situation where they are witnessing something happening that is wrong. On their paper lips, students had to write how they would handle that situation and then discuss their answers with the table organizer.
In addition, there was a resource station where students could get information about why consent is important, how to say no, explanations about what constitutes a sexual assault, as well as the various on- and off-campus resources available for reporting problems. A representative from A New Day, a public health provider that works with victims of sexual violence, also manned a table in the Student Center.
Clucas, who co-chaired the event with Sarah Bordeleau, associate director of Student Activities, said she wants Consent Day to become a regular part of student education at Curry. “We are hoping to turn it into an annual event,” said Clucas, adding that students, staff and faculty—namely, from Women and Gender Studies—all participated in planning and hosting the event.