Consent talk on campus with VARP

The Speaking of Sex presentation hosted by the Violence Awareness & Response Program Thursday showed students various situations in which it is necessary to make the right decisions to prevent trauma and severe consequences.

The presentation taught students how to properly communicate on susceptible topics and share their feelings with a partner. Presenters stressed the importance of students remembering that safe sex and clear communication with a partner are crucial for mental health and safety.

The presentation was presented by GTC Dramatic Dialogues, a group that conducts engaging and interactive theatrical performances about sexual assault, diversity or substance abuse. 

At the presentation, students witnessed three performances, where they were able to discuss the importance of verbal communication and decision-making in a sober mind. 

According to the director of GTC Dramatic Dialogues, Michael Agnew, it is important to involve students in the discussion of sensitive topics in order to teach them how to behave in a critical situation, and, if possible, to prevent it.

“Sexual assault on campuses is really prevalent and a lot of mistaken perceptions around it [may cause troubles],” said Agnew. “I’ve been doing it for 27 years and this is the one show where students’ attitudes have not changed significantly. What was talked about here are the hyper-masculinity and victim blaming.”

The performance and the involvement of students in the discussion gave students the opportunity to plunge deeper into such issues. The actors showed situations in which it was necessary to talk about the safety of committed actions, decision-making and safe sex for partners. 

After each performance, students were given the opportunity to ask questions to the characters and express their thoughts about what happened. 

“[This event] sounded like something exciting because I feel like speaking of sex is something that everyone should do and be comfortable with,” said a student who attended the event. “I learned that people have different opinions on what is right or wrong but overall we should always try to do what is best for people. A lot happened today, a lot we have to learn from it. It is not enough to put in words. Personally, I learned to be more comfortable with speaking about sex in different places.”

Header Photo: Students act out skits that demonstrate various examples of intent from one person to another through multiple scenarios. (Dominic Bothe/The Reporter)

Write to Amalia Sharaf at

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