BLOOMINGTON — Promoting informed sexual consent and training for third-party intervention are among ongoing sexual assault prevention efforts at Illinois State and Illinois Wesleyan universities.
Participants in Thursday's Sexual Assault Prevention Summit recommended that ways be found to spread these and similar programs beyond campus.
IWU has a program called “Consent is Sexy” that emphasizes “yes means yes” and encourages clear communication between partners.
It includes a pledge card in which students promise to always obtain consent that is “informed and freely given — without pressure, entitlement, intimidation or fear” before engaging in sexual activity.
Darcy Greder, associate dean of students, said 650 students out of a student body of 1,800 have signed pledge cards.
Bystander training at ISU encourages students to intervene if they see acts of violence or disrespect. Among suggestions given was to interrupt actions with distractions such as asking, “Aren't you in my English class?” or “Where is the bathroom?”
The program also suggests drawing the attention of others or asking someone who appears to be in distress or extremely intoxicated, “Are you OK? Can I call someone for you?”
Educational programs are provided to new students during orientation at both schools.
Residence hall assistants also go through training on what to do if a students tells them they have been assaulted or if they suspect someone has been assaulted.
Noting that many programs are aimed at students in residents halls, participants recommended that commuter students and older, non-traditional students be kept in mind.