York University students, staff and faculty are invited to join the Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education (The Centre) for an online Consent Week at York U this Sept. 28 to Oct. 2.
This important, week-long event continues to foster a necessary, ongoing dialogue about the importance of consent in our everyday lives.
“Now, more than ever, it’s vital that we continue the conversation as we adapt to the realities of a global pandemic, both online and offline,” said Joanie Cameron Pritchett, director of Community Support & Services. “We invite all of our community members to join us as we navigate consent within a variety of disciplines.”
The Centre will be hosting a series of panels, sessions and events online through Zoom in an effort to raise awareness, facilitate discussions and offer resources about consent as York community members settle into a new academic year.
Since events this year will be attended from home or elsewhere, participants are encouraged to make their viewing spaces as comfortable and private as they see fit while facilitators host a safe, inclusive online environment. Offerings this year include a healing yoga session for survivors of sexual violence, a huddle-style discussion about male intimacy, an educational session on understanding consent and the law and, to close out the week, a play all about consent.
New this year, Consent Talks is a play about sex and consent within the context of the university experience during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The play is being screened online with an open discussion before the viewing, as well as a Q-and-A after, along with support available throughout as there is a content warning. Some of the themes include virtual hookups, sexual violence, online harassment and the impact of social media and physical distancing rules. Offered in collaboration with Vanier College Productions, The Centre hopes to facilitate important dialogue online during this challenging time.
“The purpose of the play is to ensure we are having conversations about the ways in which sexual violence manifests itself online during the pandemic. We hope to raise awareness about the different forms of sexual violence to ensure all incoming students are made aware of resources and supports available for them,” said Cameron Pritchett.
This is the third Consent Week at York University, its inception brought about by the positive feedback from successful previous training and education sessions provided to the community by The Centre. By bringing in experts to provide insight, knowledge and resources focused on consent, The Centre hopes Consent Week at York U also helps raise awareness about the supports and services offered by their office, staff, peers and external partners.
“We’re here for survivors on our campus, but also those who support survivors, engage in this type of work or want more information,” said Cameron Pritchett.
Community members who are interested in attending should register early.
To learn more about Consent Week at York University, visit: thecentre.yorku.ca/consent-week/.
To learn more about the services offered by The Centre, visit thecentre.yorku.ca.
This story was originally published in yFile.