This April, the CHS Women’s Rights Advocacy Club (WRA) will present the second annual presentations on rape culture and consent. The club intends to raise awareness about consent, especially for teenagers who may regard the topic with less severity and less information.
The presentations, which former co-presidents Jocelyn Buckley and Allie Walter created last year, provide information about rape and the importance of consent that goes beyond typical knowledge. The WRA will show the presentations again this year to both teachers and students.
The discussions focus mainly on the gray areas of consent. According to a 2015 Washington Post poll, there is still confusion surrounding the topic; the college-aged popualtion is roughly split on whether nodding or removing clothes signifies consent. They outline NC laws about consent in hopes that students will fully understand the legal limitations. Students don’t always have a clear idea of what constitutes consent. Many would also argue that in the digital age particularly, there is an emphasis on hookups and electronic relationships that can create uncertainty when it comes to boundaries.
The presentations for teachers will also focus on how to deal with the subject of rape or sexual assault in the classroom, as some students can be personally affected by the topic. The goal is to show teachers how to approach the topic of rape, and also how to react to students who may come to them to talk about their own experiences with sexual assault.
Sophomore Nina Neiswender is the president of the WRA. She views these presentations as an important step in educating consenuality and related issues.
“I think that [these presentations] are important because sometimes there are questions that people don’t know how to ask, or people are afraid to ask, and information can get easily skewed based on where it’s coming from,” said Neiswender.
According to her, the club members will specifically inform the students about sexual assault and how to navigate relationships safely and consensually.
“The purpose is to really make sure that everyone has a full understanding of the laws and what they can do to prevent sexual assault, and to make sure everyone is being responsible,” said Neiswender.
The club will show the presentations before prom, in late April, and during lunch in the auditorium. WRA club members encourage people to attend, citing the importance of spreading awareness about these serious issues. If you’re interested in what the club is doing and want to know more, club meetings are held Monday during lunch in Ms. Olsen’s room, or E118. Anyone is invited to join Carrboro’s WRA club.