On Monday, April 4, the Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates presented a consent workshop as a kickoff to Sexual Assault Awareness Week at Central Michigan University. The workshop was presented by former SAPA Rich Bronson, and taught the definition, importance and requirement of consent in a sexual setting.
The program began by providing statistics about sexual assault on college campuses in America.
Sophomore Allison Tobey attended the event, mentioning the workshop opened her eyes on the prominence of sexual misconduct in our society.
“As college students, we hear a lot about sexual assault and how it happens on campus, but I don’t think people go into depth with it and look at how prominent it is,” Tobey said.
The presenter stressed the importance of directly asking your sexual partner for consent.
“The one thing that stood out to me is asking for consent because I don’t think people think about it,” Tobey said. “People think body language means you can keep going. As far as asking someone if you can go further, that’s not something that actually happens very often.”
The workshop created a list of ways to ask for consent, and allowed the audience to offer suggestions.
“A lot of people don’t ask for it, so I think it’s cool to be on that comfort level with your partner or whomever you’re going to engage in sexual activity with,” Tobey said.
In addition to Monday’s workshop, SAPA organized a number of programs to bring awareness to the growing issue.
On Tuesday, April 5, lemonade was handed out to students passing through the library with the SAPA contact information listed on the cup.
Later that day, students were invited to Pearce Hall for a program presented by SAPA about sexual assault on college campuses, and how you can look out for those who may be in compromising situations.
Wednesday brought awareness to sexual misconduct through the use of social media.
Students gathered in the University Center to take pictures about what consent meant to them, and posted them on their social media accounts. Also, on Wednesday, shirts made by survivors of assault were displayed outside the library as a part of the nationally renowned “Clothesline Project.”
The week of events ended with a self-care yoga session on Thursday evening, and the Zumbathon event on Friday afternoon.
Tobey said an important part of this week was spreading the resources that CMU’s campus provides to students.
“I think raising awareness and just bringing forth the fact that we do have these services on campus that can help you if you’re in a certain situation,” Tobey said.
For more information on Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates, visit SAPA’s website.
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