The Consent Campaign
The Consent Campaign began in January 2016 when Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA) started to examine how Kent State’s definition of consent impacts student culture and the administrative process of dealing with sexual assault. While enrolled in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies course, Nonviolence: Theory and Practice, in fall semester 2016, Applied Peace and Conflict Studies major Liz Schmidt, an officer in Students Against Sexual Assault, also set up a directed study course focused on mounting the Consent Campaign on campus using the principles of a nonviolent action campaign. The Consent Campaign by SASA’s activism arm used principles of nonviolent action to promote a new policy on campus, empower the voices of survivors, and engage students in discussions about consent, boundaries, and communication so that they can use affirmative consent. In collaboration with KSU administrators, the university’s policy on consent has been rewritten to convey the elements considered crucial to affirmative consent. The campaign is profiled below.
The Goals of the Consent Campaign
1. To implement an affirmative definition of consent in Kent State University policy
2. To shift the culture at KSU in such a way that students understand and use affirmative consent
Consent is the difference between sex and sexual assault. SASA advocates an understanding of consent that is affirmative, recognizing that silence does not equate to agreement, and it is unreasonable to expect someone who is already vulnerable to be held responsible for someone else’s actions against them. Using affirmative consent changes the culture around sex in a way that puts power over a person’s body back into their own hands, an act that directly challenges the underlying paradigms of rape culture.
Consent Campaign Events
- The Fence Demonstration
- The Mattress Demonstration
- Story Exhibit
- Photo Exhibit
- The "Consent Is..." Board