BY ELAINA DRUID // MARCH 1, 2014 //

Sexual assaults are a big problem on many college campuses. It is estimated that one in five women have been sexually assaulted during their college years. There were at least three reports of sexual assaults on campus at Curry College in 2013 alone.

To educate students about sexual assaults in college, Curry recently hosted its second annual Consent Day.

Participants and organizers of the Consent Day event included, from left, Public Safety Officer Irina Deane-Costa, Nazrawit Zeleke, Souban Doualeh and Alicia Guarino.
Participants and organizers of the Consent Day event included, from left, Public Safety Officer Irina Deane-Costa, Nazrawit Zeleke, Souban Doualeh and Alicia Guarino. // PHOTO BY ELAINA DRUID

There were multiple interactive activities for students to take part in during the Feb. 26. event. All were geared toward educating students about what “consent” is, the roles alcohol and other drugs play when it comes to consent, and also the resources available for victims of sexual assault.

As a way to draw students to the event, held in the Student Center, R.A.G.E. offered a free T-shirt to the first 300 students that completed all of the activities and turned in their stamped activity card. R.A.G.E., which stands for Raising Awareness Through Group Education, is a student-led, peer-education club.

Kerry Antunes, interim staff adviser to R.A.G.E and associate director of fitness and recreation at Curry, believes that “running programs like this that are fun and interactive really gets people to think about consent and learn about what consent actually is and what a sexual assault is.”

Programming made it clear that women aren’t the only ones who are victims of sexual assault. Men can also become victims as easily as women can. Cam Hoyt, a freshman psychology major and an executive board member of R.A.G.E., said his group worked hard this year to keep Consent Day gender neutral.

“Last year, a lot of the stuff was pink, so people thought it was just for women,” he said. “But we want to let people know [sexual assault] does happen to men, too.”

Rachel King, associate dean of students, said she believes that the lessons of Consent Day are “incredibly valuable.” For example, just because you’re in a relationship with someone doesn’t mean that there is consent for sexual activity.

Research indicates that alcohol plays a big role in sexual assaults on college campuses. One of the things students learned during Consent Day was that a person is typically in no condition to provide consent when they are under the influence of alcohol.

The college will hold another event geared toward educating students about sexual assault, on April 1 at 7 p.m. in the Student Center Gym. Filmmaker and activist Byron Hurt will speak about confronting sexual violence on campus.

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