Consent and relationships workshop to be held

Consent and relationships workshop to be held

Sophie Hillmeyer

The Consent and Healthy Relationships workshop, part of the Consent: Back to the Basics campaign will happen today and cover consent, what to do when relationships go wrong, when it is time to get out and how to find help.

According to Planned Parenthood, consent is defined as, “actively agreeing to be sexual with someone.” Student input from a 2017-2018 campus-wide survey motivated a group of students and faculty to create this consent campaign and help educate NMU students about it, according to the grant application narrative written for the Michigan Campus Sexual Assault Grant Program.

Consent, the focus of this years’ grant, was based on evaluations from last year’s grant, which revealed that the NMU student population does not understand and recognize the idea of consent, NMU Title IX Coordinator Janet Koski said.

NMU received over $15,000 from this grant in 2018.

One of the successes from last year’s grant money was bringing Cindy Pierce to campus to discuss healthy relationships and 366 of the over 500 participants completed evaluations in response to the question, “Do you feel your peers at NMU have a clear understanding of consent,” 175 responded “yes,” 60 responded “no” and 101 responded “unsure,” according to the application narrative.

The event will be led by Associate Dean of Students, Mary Brundage and Koski.

Understanding consent and sexual violence are important, especially at college campuses, where sexual assaults can occur, the grant application narrative states.

“Students should attend this event to feel more comfortable when talking about such hard topics like consent, healthy relationships and sex,” junior social work major Ravyn Rooney said. “Consent gets blurred [out] on college campuses so it is our job, as a community, to clear up all of the confusion with these skill builders.”

Rooney is one of the students who was a part in completing the application that got NMU the grant to fund these events.

“Whether you understand everything about these topics or need a little refresher, this event will offer everyone the opportunity to learn something new and challenge what they think,” Rooney said. “If students are to attend this skill builder, they will be able to identify the key components of relationships. Students will be able to apply what they learned at the skill builder to their everyday lives.”