Consent is a major issue that extends beyond the typical boundaries of sex and the bedroom.
As April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, efforts to educate on the subject of consent and what it means to practice consent on college campuses are in motion.
Consent is defined as permission or approval of an action between two people.
While it is often believed that consent solely applies to sex, it can also apply to various activities people participate in on a regular basis.
ISU Director of Media Relations Eric Jome said the university holds consent as one of the highest priorities from the get-go.
“Part of orientation and certain online modules that students go through discusses consent as it relates to relationships and other subject,” Jome said.
“It’s always been an important topic, but certainly there’s been a lot more attention given to it in recent years. The university has been trying to distribute a lot of education on the matter.”
Jome went on to say that consent involves everyone being on the same page and understanding why it is so significant.
“It’s something people of all genders need to be aware of; it’s not just one person’s problem,” Jome said. “Consent is something that everyone needs to be consistently learning about.”
Jome said that a growing concern regarding consent has been spreading throughout society and ISU has been working to meet those concerns at every step.
“ISU had programs relating to consent for a number of years,” Jome said. “Those programs addressed issues of sexual assault, inappropriate behavior and respecting personal boundaries.”
Illinois State registered student origanizations like Students Ending Rape Culture (SERC) and the “It’s On Us” campaign were created to help spread the message of practicing consent across campus.
SERC’s mission goal is “to educate the campus community about sexual violence, raise visibility of rape culture and support and empower survivors of interpersonal violence.”
Similarly, the “It’s On Us” campaign is a nationwide effort to end sexual assault on college campuses. The campaign calls on everyone “to step up and realize that the conversation changes with us.”
It utilizes creative content and grassroots organizing techniques in order to drive conversation about the topic.
Practicing consent is a foundational value that all human beings, especially students at ISU, should hold near and dear to their hearts.
SERC is hosting an event titled, “Communicating Consent: In The Bedroom & Beyond” at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in Schroeder 244.
The event is meant to underscore the importance of asking for verbal consent as well as highlighting the role of non-verbal and physical cues.
The event aims to emphasize the idea that consent is something that we interact with daily and isn’t isolated to sex, but actually a part of other healthy relationships between friends or even roommates.