Last month (on 9th February) students and staff at the University of Kent came together to celebrate consent for Kent’s very own “Celebrating Consent Day”.
The University of Kent aims to be a positive and inclusive community for all staff and students, and provide a place of work and study where respect and healthy relationships thrive. We are committed to ensuring that our approach against sexual misconduct and assault is transparent and clear to both staff and students – that is it not tolerated and what the avenues are for reporting and obtaining support should it happen. To make a positive culture shift requires not only clarifications of sanctions and process, but a proactive approach to cultivate and strengthen a culture of consent in our university community – which is why we have launched a sex-positive campaign.
Last month (on 9th February) students and staff at the University of Kent came together to celebrate consent for Kent’s very own “Celebrating Consent Day”. Our afternoon was filled with three interesting sessions where attendees had the chance to learn, discuss and reflect on sex-positivity and consent. From listening to expert’s insights and advice to collaborative crafting, the “Celebrating Consent Day” created a heart-warming, vibrant and fun atmosphere throughout.
But you don’t have to take my word for it! Here’s what student Charlotte Hirst had to say about “Celebrating Consent Day”:
“I attended the University of Kent’s Student Support and Wellbeing Celebrating Consent Day on Wednesday February 9th. The day included talks from UKC Respect The No about safety and consent in the online dating world, as well as discussions about stalking and boundaries within relationships as well.
The highlight of the day was when author and sex positive consent educator Ruby Rare spoke about pleasure-based consent. The whole atmosphere of the day was fun and welcoming, where questions were welcomed and an open dialogue around sex discussions was encouraged.
I firmly believe that universities across the country could benefit from putting on such events more frequently to foster a space for students to embrace sex and consent positivity. The impact this could have amongst student societies and sports groups is potentially huge- the opportunity to promote accountability amongst students on nights out as well as education about how not to be a bystander when things go awry. As an institution Kent’s encouragement of an event such as the Celebrating Consent Day shows their support for their student’s wellbeing and personal engagement as well as their education.”
Our other participants also told us about how the event provided them with the time and space to reflect on “some prevailing attitudes and the need for change and greater openness and positivity for people of all ages”, helped them “gain courage around these topics” and provided them with tools navigate and handle conversations on consent and sex.
Stay up-to-date as Kent walks the walk on this issue by following #ConsentGetIt on social media.
Student Support and Wellbeing
Follow @UniKentSSW on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook for news on other events and peer support groups taking place throughout the year.
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Written by Filipa Paes, third year student, 30.03.22
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