By Kayla Brown
Take a minute to remember this moment. As a freshman, you’re officially in college. For some, this means that you commute from home for class. For others, this means that it’s officially your first time being away from home. For once, it feels like you’re on your own. You can do what you want, when you want, because your parents aren’t around to stop you, right? I must add that there’s nothing wrong with having fun, and enjoying college life. Just be sure to think twice.
College is the place to meet new people from different backgrounds, become involved, and find out who you really are. There’s also a chance of encountering someone that you find attractive. This attraction could be mental, emotional, physical, or all three.
We’re young adults, and there’s no way for me to sugar coat this. Sex happens.
I’m aware that not everyone is sexually involved, but for those who are, please be sure to think twice. My purpose of writing this isn’t to promote sex, it’s to bring awareness. For some reason, it’s considered to be a “touchy” subject, and I completely understand why. On the other hand, it’s a subject that we must bring light to, and inform others about. For starters, always be sure to wear protection.
Free male condoms are available in the Health Services office, which is located in Village II. Health Services is also a great place to receive more information about safe sex.
Secondly, think about privacy. We’re a small campus, which means that there’s a chance of others finding out about your personal business. This doesn’t mean that the entire school will find out, and judge you. No, this simply means that there’s a possibility of “word” getting out, and it’s good to be aware of that. So, if you don’t want others to know, then I advise you to be cautious.
Lastly, understand Title IX. Always, and I do mean always be sure that you received, and gave consent before doing so. Consent is receiving a definite yes to proceed during sexual intercourse. Someone shrugging their shoulders, or constantly asking, after they’ve said no, isn’t consent. It’s also wise to receive consent from someone who isn’t intoxicated to any extent. This is to ensure that the answer that you receive is coming from someone with a clear mind, and not from someone who is influenced by any drug or substance.
You might be reading this article, thinking that everything I’m saying is common sense, or that you learned it in high school. However, things change when it’s actually happening to you. Things change when you realize that a scene from a video that you watched in Health class on when to say no is now your reality.
What do you do you if you see a potential attack? You let someone know immediately. Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you are with a group of friends, let your friends know that you feel uncomfortable, and that it’s best that you all leave. If you happen to be a bystander, please don’t partake in the bystander effect. It is your responsibility to speak up as well, especially if you notice that the person looks uncomfortable.
Step in, and ask them if they are okay, even if you don’t know them. Afterwards, let a school official know about the incident, so it can be reported. Our security officers are available 24/7, and they are only a couple of minutes away from you, if that. There are also emergency boxes located around campus. Look for the blue light. They’re easy to spot. This box can be used to contact security as well. In addition to our security officers, we also have Deputy Title IX coordinators, Jason Seward and McCarren Caputa, and their doors are always open to those who would like to talk, or have any questions. This is something that I wouldn’t want to happen to anyone.
With that being said, be sure to think twice before you act, and always receive a for sure green light before proceeding.