Students gathered at 101 Thomas last night to discuss awareness of sexual assault on campus and ways to prevent instances of sexual assault.
The event, “No Means No,” was organized by Penn State BLUEprint, formerly known as the S-Plan, an on-campus organization that helps first-year students and change of campus students transition to University Park.
“The mission of Penn State Blue Print is to offer cultural and academic support to students of color, specifically those who are first-year or transfer/change-of-campus students, through peer mentoring,” said Brianna Weeks, the senior coordinator of BLUEprint.
The organization is sponsored by the Paul Robeson Cultural Center (PRCC), and was organized to educate Penn State students about sexual assault, Weeks said. The event began with a movie clip that featured a sexual assault scene from the movie called “For Colored Girls.”
Weeks then provided statistics to the audience on sexual assault — such as one in six women have been sexually assaulted.
Members of the Penn State BLUEprint had broken up groups within the audience to provide a male and female perspective about a sexual assault case study.
“The goal of tonight is to provide an open dialogue about sexual assault and to discuss the different gender roles within the situation,” said Weeks.
After the case study, students had discussed how body language can be perceived as a form of consent.
However, during the Q&A session of the program, it was recognized that body language isn’t considered a form of consent and could be considered a sexual assault without affirmative communication and consent between both parties.
Many students like Saria Widatalla (senior-biobehavioral health) believed that the program had educated her about the idea of consent.
“Tonight’s program was very helpful and had helped clear what consent is for me and that there are other signs other than just a no,” Widatalla said.
The program had also emphasized to students that 95 percent of sexual assaults go unreported and that there are many resources available to students such as the Office of Student Conduct, and the Center for Women Students (CWS).
Students like Brisa Smith Flores (freshman-architecture) believed that the program was beneficial to Penn State students.
“I thought tonight had answered a lot of hanging questions about the idea of consent and how you need to have a definite yes before doing anything,” said Smith Flores.