By Krista Lee
Last semester the Consent Play & Discussion was brought to Green Mountain College from our eco-league school Prescott College in Arizona. The play and discussion was made by a group of students called “Consent-In-Action” that was started in 2009. An Americorp VISTA (Hollis) was approached and asked if they could facilitate the creation of a campus support group around sexual violence at Prescott College. A group of folks then got together and created a required consent workshop for all incoming students & the Prescott College community. Prescott College students aim to facilitate their consent play and discussion twice a year, at the beginning of each semester aimed towards new students.
When I eco-leagued at Prescott College for the Spring 2014 semester I was really inspired by the play and discussion and knew that it was something that could really benefit the Green Mountain College community. I had conversations with people who were involved in the play and “Consent-In-Action” group and they shared the scripts and documents with me. In the Fall 2014 semester nearly 100 students showed up to be a part of the play and discussion, and in the Spring 2015 semester nearly 70 students were in attendance.
The play & discussion were entirely student led and was an educational production that addressed topics of consent, sexual assault, and communication. Peer to peer education is really important and can be very valuable, and I am grateful to all the professors that helped promote what the students were doing by encouraging their classes to attend.
Some student reactions to the play and discussion read:
“These skits were very affective and were great examples of potential real life experiences that have happened across the world. After seeing this play I feel more comfortable expressing myself, and have a better idea of what to do if I were to be caught in a bad situation, or a situation where I was feeling uncomfortable.” –Ella Running-Rabbit
“The consent play is a type of activity/entertainment that should be offered to students more often. Especially on a college campus, these issues need to be talked about and explained. Awareness and education can be the resolution to so many problems in the world. In regards to our campus, if we offer more of these educational activities that are at the same time fun and humorous, perhaps we could see change start to happen right here in Poultney, Vermont.”-Matthias Baudinet
“After going to the consent play I learned that it is okay to state how you feel when being intimate with your partner. No one should feel uncomfortable or feel like they have to engage in sexual activity. Also I learned that people who have been sexually assaulted should reach out for help from others. Like on our own campus, we experience sexual assault. Sexual assault is not talked about or reported as much because of how victims are seen or treated. At our college, we have the wellness center, campus security, and our friends on campus. Together as a community we can work together to not only prevent sexual assault but support victims who go through it.”-Laken Dawson
I am grateful for the opportunity to have been able to bring the play from Prescott back to GMC, and am so impressed by our community and student body for getting involved in this dialogue about how to make our college campus a safer place for all students.
Consent through advocacy and action is an important part of any community and there is a dedicated group of students in our community who work to educate others about what that means.