Colgate University is bragging that it’s not “scrambling to create programs to educate students and administrators about” affirmative consent, because since 2010 it’s offered a student-led program teaching both sexual partners “to enthusiastically agree to every step of a sexual encounter.”
If that program mentions alcohol’s role in regretted sexual encounters, misunderstandings and campus tribunals that seek a predetermined result, it’s not apparent in an NBCNews.com video feature on Colgate’s “Yes Means Yes” program.
There’s also no mention of alcohol in the full NBCNews.com writeup about the Colgate program. Only one quote, from Yes Means Yes student facilitator Emily Hawkins, hints at the underlying factor that drives so much confusion over consent – keep in mind she’s excluding sexual assault here:
“I think people have less-than-proud moments, sex they wish they wouldn’t have had. That’s the kind of sex we’re trying to prevent, too.”
Campus Reform notes that the program now counts as physical education credit, which may explain why “the makeup of the class has become far more diverse,” as NBCNews.com said.
Still, only a third of participants were men in the class that NBCNews.com visited, and one of the male leaders laments in the video that so few men are attending. Maybe because they don’t want to be called rapists for not wanting constant jabbering during sex:
But some, including several students in Hawkins’ seminar, worry that talking too much will ruin the mood. …
Hawkins said she’s “hardened to that argument.” If you feel too awkward to have that honest conversation, she said, “maybe you shouldn’t be having sex with that person.”
From how the student leaders describe it, Colgate’s program is intended primarily to ensure that students have awesome sex:
As students detailed their preferences and fantasies that Wednesday night, the room was thick with sexual tension. Hawkins said people constantly tell her all they want to do afterwards is go home and have sex.
What a heartwarming message. And you get PE credit for it!
IMAGE: Michael Porter/Flickr