Updated: Consent Workshop for Teens Offers Education, Fun and Open Dialogue

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Monday, September 14, 2015, 6:47 am
Danny Kaplowitz

Update: The following message was posted this morning on the ELHS Students for Gender Equality public Facebook page: "the event Party with a Purpose: A Call for Consent, is changing a bit. Originally the event was to be held at ELPL. However protesters have heard about the event and have been harassing the library, threatening to protest. (The library has been supportive of us, so no worries there.) However, in an effort to create a safe environment where everyone will feel comfortable we have to switch venues. to a location that isn't completely open to the public, like the library. Because of such short notice, it will more than likely be postponed. Stay tuned we will have more concrete updates to come!"

“A Call for Consent” a workshop open to twelve to nineteen year olds is offered from 6-8pm on Wednesday, September 16th at the East Lansing Public Library. The event is part of a collaboration between our region’s chapter of Planned Parenthood and East Lansing High School’s Gender Equality club.

One in a series of Planned Parenthood’s quarterly “parties with a purpose,” “Call for Consent” targets preteens and teens, and according to co-planner Sarah Hansen, aims to create a “safe and non judgmental space for learning” about consent, which she considers “one of the most important aspects of sex education, and one that’s not frequently discussed. “ The organizers hope that creating an open dialogue will get students comfortable with thinking and learning about this oft-overlooked issue while surrounded by their peers.

Experts in sex education agree that people, especially young people, are very poorly informed on the meaning and nature of consent, which MSU’s Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives defines as “an agreement to engage in sexual activity that is reasonably understood to be mutual and freely given.” This agreement can be revoked at any time and must be given reciprocally by non-incapacitated people.

The workshop, which bills itself as a “conversation around consent, healthy sexuality, and how you can prevent sexual assault,” will be free and public to all Lansing area twelve to nineteen- year-olds this Wednesday at East Lansing Public Library, as an effort to make it “accessible to anyone” in the group that Hansen says “needs to learn about consent most immediately.” The event also includes a free dinner and a gift card raffle giveaway.

A Call for Consent is open to 12-19 year olds from 6-8pm on Wednesday, September 16th at the East Lansing Public Library. RSVPs may be made to (734) 926-4766 or Stephanie.Diponio@ppmchoice.org.

Disclaimer: the author of this article is an active member of ELHS Students for Gender Equality. He had no role in the planning or implementation of the event.

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