In light of the recent sexual assault notice sent to California State University, Long Beach’s students, the idea of sexual consent has become a hot topic around the school.
As a result of the “Yes Means Yes” law signed by Governor Jerry Brown last year, the Women’s Gender and Equity Center is holding a consent panel on Thursday from 6-8 p.m. in the University Student Union Ballroom.
‘Let’s Talk Consent,’ the WGEC event, will feature interactive dialogue that will discuss sexual consent and the role one plays in it.
“It’s going to a social mixer to discuss the topic and scenarios…It’s going to be informative, but light,” said Pam Rayburn, the coordinator for the WGEC as well as for the event.
The purpose of the event is to make people more comfortable with the idea of sexual consent as well as inform the student body what their rights are when it comes to sexual consent.
The ‘Yes Means Yes’ law defines the idea of affirmative consent as ongoing consent throughout sexual activity, and it cannot be given if someone is asleep or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol. The law also states that in the midst of sexual activity, silence or non-protesting does not equate to consent and consent can be revoked at any time.
“It’s a huge factor for our campus and age group…” CSULB student Erika Brown said. “I think it [the law] will help [prevent sexual assault]. Having the law enforced helps prevent people from thinking of doing it…It’s taking the measures to help keep students safe and comfortable on campus.”
Per campus policy, it is mandatory that all students take a sexual assault prevention-training seminar online in their first semester on campus. Titled, “Not Anymore”, the 45-minute series of videos serves as advice for incoming students on what to do in situations that could result in a sexual assault or rape. The panel will further the discussion and provide additional advice through questions and roleplaying actual situations.
“The reason we’re having the panel is to get the perspective from law enforcement official Corporal Chris Brown of University Police Department, and get the perspective from the campus on what consent means and sexual misconduct for being a student here on campus. That’s why the panel is there, to vent these questions,” Rayburn said.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, one out of four women has or will be a victim of sexual assault. Through the open dialogue and panel, the WGEC hopes that the ‘Let’s Talk Consent’ event will help minimize that statistic through education on sexual assault prevention.
The WGEC hopes that students will take away what healthy relationships are as well as become aware of what the resources are on campus, said Rayburn. There is a Sexual Assault Victims Advocate as well as a Crisis Counselor on campus for survivors and friends of survivors of sexual assault.
For more information on the panel, it is advised to attend the event on Thursday 6-8 p.m. in the USU Ballrooms as a portion of it will be for questions.