Pacific defines consent with ‘Sex Signals’

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Talking about sex on campus keeps getting easier.

Students at Pacific University made an impressive turnout for the performance of Sex Signals on Friday, Sept. 18.

“We had about 120 people, which I think is decent for a Friday night event,” Campus Wellness Coordinator, Kathleen Converse said. “I think it’s one of those things where you always want more people and you want as many people as possible to hear this message, but I think it was a good crowd and they seemed very engaged.”

Sex Signals is a national program that uses improvisational comedy and audience interaction to raise awareness about sexual assault.

Friday, two members of Sex Signals, George Zerante and Jessamyn Fitzpatrick, played out gender stereotypes, potential rape scenarios and even the potential excuses that alleged rapists will make to defend themselves.

The audience’s positive reactions against rape culture was almost unanimous.

“We were both impressed by the audience,” Zerante said. “They were a more progressive audience, and we had more advanced conversations with them and it was definitely awesome.”

These 90-minute shows have been active for 15 years, under Catharsis Productions.

They have been held on many college and university campuses.

Student Activities Director Pete Erschen was able to allow Pacific to get this experience as well.

Not only did this program open up conversation about sexual assault among the campus, but it also strengthened on the message that Campus Wellness is stressing among the student body.

“I think the message, partly, is awareness that sexual assaults happen on college campuses and we need to be aware that we need to be doing something about it,” Converse said. “The second message is that it’s never the fault of the survivor that happens and that we all have a piece to play in helping keeping our campuses safe.”

Like Converse, Sex Signals works hard to make sure all students get that message.

“I think the thing that I love about our program is that it’s focus is choice,” Fitzpatrick said. “Whatever choice you’re making, it’s your fundamental right to make that choice, and no one should step in the way of you making that choice. It’s also your fundamental obligation to respect other people’s choices.”

Fitzpatrick hopes when it comes to the lives of college students, whether it be social or sexual, they feel empowered to make whatever choice is right for them.


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