Consent is both: sexy and mandatory

Title IX Peer Prevention Advisor provides a refresher on the irrefutable characteristics of consent

By HANNAH CASSELL
For the UAS Whalesong
With National Campus Safety Awareness Month coming to a close, and Domestic Violence Awareness month on the horizon, now is a great time to talk about consent. Consent is an important topic on college campuses, and for good reason. Did you know, that more than 50% of college sexual assaults nationwide occur between late August and Thanksgiving? This time period is called the Red Zone.
The Red Zone represents a period of time when students are getting to know each other. New students meet returning students and there’s an adjustment period, usually marked by high levels of social interaction, both on and off campus.
As the school year starts and we start to foster new relationships, it’s time for a refresher on what consent really means.

A clear and enthusiastic “yes!”
Make sure your partner is comfortable with your actions. Do they seem to be pulling away, giving vague responses, or just seem not so into it? A lack of a no does not equal a yes. Get a feel for your surroundings, and frequently check in with your partner.

Every action, every time.
Just because you make out with someone at a party, does not mean any future actions are also okay. As you are moving forward with a partner, make sure you continue to check in with each others comfort level.

Consent can be revoked at any time.
If a partner ever becomes uncomfortable, they can revoke their consent at any time. This goes for someone you just met, a new flame, or even if you have been dating for 5 years. Giving consent once does not equal consent indefinitely.

Consent is uncoerced.
A coerced yes is not a yes. Begging someone, bribing someone, or threatening someone to say yes is not consent. Consent should be given by someone’s own accord, without any outside factors.

A sober yes is the best yes.
If someone is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, by law, they cannot give consent.

Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males, and 21% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, non-conforming) students have experienced rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation (RAINN, 2016). If you or someone you know needs assistance regarding harassment or assault, contact the Title IX Office, the UAS Counseling Center, or Juneau’s AWARE Shelter.
Non consensual sex is a problem on college campuses nationwide, but it doesn’t have to be. Educate yourself and your friends, and if you see something, say something.

To make a report of sexual harassment, sexual violence of any kind or gender-based discrimination, contact:
Lori Klein, Title IX Coordinator, 907-796-6036 / laklein@alaska.edu or online at: http://www.uas.alaska.edu/titleix

To talk to a confidential resource contact:
UAS Health and Counseling Center: 907-796-6000 or email Margie at mwthomson@alaska.edu or Becky at baiverson@alaska.edu

Visit with an AWARE Advocate Mondays from 2-4 p.m. in Mourant Rm. 115 or email Swarupa at swarupat@awareak.org or Britta at brittat@awareak.org

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