As one of my friends put it, "IU has a thing for consent." Though this might sound weird, it's one of my favorite things about the University.
What is consent?, you might be asking And why does IU have a "thing" for it?
Well, according to Webster: con-sent (intransitive verb)- to give assent or approval.
And in this context we're referring to giving consent in terms of sex. And IU has a big thing for making sure that students understand what consent is and why it is important in preventing sexual assault on campus. Such a big thing, in fact, that they've written a whole musical number about it... but I don't want to spoil your Orientation experience by giving you too many details.
Sexual assault is one of the biggest problems facing colleges across the US. Maybe even the biggest problem, depending on who you're asking. While in college, 1 in 4 women are sexually assaulted. This is much higher than the lifetime statistic of 1 in 6 women. And it's not just a female problem; about 1 in 33 men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
The increased likelihood of sexual assault while attending a college or university is disturbing to say the least, but unlike other universities, IU is confronting this issue head-on. The emphasis on consent is obvious during freshman orientation and throughout the year. Educational activities happen all the time, in residence halls, classes, and Greek houses to help spread awareness and stamp out sexual assault. The organization RAISE is integral in these activities, and are always accepting new members. (For more information, email email@example.com) Everyone on campus knows about the issue.
But how does just telling people about consent help anything?
Consent is a first step. While there are vicious people in the world, and certainly some of these people make it onto our campus, most people don't want to become rapists. Some rapes occur simply because of a miscommunication. Because no one bothered to get consent. By learning what consent is and how to get it, these people can avoid ruining someone else's life and their own. IU does an excellent job of exposing students to this concept.
There are also services available through IU for victims of sexual assault. The Sexual Assault Crisis Center is available 24/7 free of charge. There are one-on-one and group therapy options, as well as lines you can call any time for counseling, help obtaining medical care, and help contacting law enforcement.
The school has also taken efforts to keep us safe, with well-lit paths and blue-lights all around campus.
I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered IU's affinity for consent, and it is one of the many things that make me proud to be a Hoosier.