As part of Campus Week of Action, the MSU Denver Student Government Assembly hosted the “Consent is Bae” event which informed students about safe and consensual sex by setting up a party-like environment.
Speaker of the Senate Aaron Futrell came up with the idea. He said the event was intended to display what qualifies as consent, and what doesn’t.
“We want to make sure our students are safe,” Futrell said.
Street tacos and pizza were used to attract students to the event, held in the Tivoli Garage Lounge.
“I know the food usually brings them in, but when we see people being engaged and actually learning, they can take that outside of this and apply it to their everyday lives and teach their friends and family,” said Vice President of the SGA, Richy Ramos.
The Campus Week of Action included events focused around similar topics. On Nov. 7, the SGA held a slam poetry session which covered personal stories and the emotions related to sexual violence. Nov. 8 was an “art not violence” art scene. On Nov. 9, the last day of the Campus Week of Action, the SGA screened “Justice For My Sisters,” a film about seeking justice for those who have experienced sexual violence.
Phoenix Center Director Megan Alpert and Violence Prevention Peer Educator Nikki Dahl were the main speakers. It started off with a satirical music video called “Consent” by YouTube duo Jack and Dean, that set a lighter tone for the event. Alpert and Dahl spoke about the different types of consent, and when consent can and cannot be given.
The highlight of the presentation was when Alpert asked students if they agreed, disagreed or were unsure of the statement, “It is OK for two intoxicated people to have sex.”
Students had to stand up and move to different parts of the room to represent their viewpoints. Students were then asked to explain their thoughts on the statement.
A student said that someone drinking at a party will not be in the right state of mind to give consent no matter how much they had to drink. Others were unsure, saying that people have different drinking tolerances and the statement did not clarify what intoxicated meant.
At the end of the presentation, Alpert and Dahl talked about how sex is portrayed in movies. Dahl brought up how sex just happens in movies and how that leads younger people to have a warped idea of sex.
For students like Emelie Nguyen and Colette Kallina-Tran, this discussion helped shed new light on a subject they already knew about.
Nguyen said that there are some grey areas and being able to see those and discuss them helped.
“I feel like I did not so much learn, but it got me to think more about it and kind of get a different perspective on it,” Nguyen said.
Exposure to new ideas on sex and consent was helpful as well.
“I liked the discussion about everyone having their different OKs, I do not think I ever thought about it that way so I think it was good to heard the discussion,” Kallina-Tran said.