I think its time for you to meet one of the members of our team who is working on an incredibly important project within the university, namely to address sexual assault and harassment on campus. Her name is Zoë Walter and she is the Sexual Violence Project Officer/Counsellor.
I asked Zoë to prepare a post for the blog which was timely because last night she attended the Media Launch of the Be A Better Human Campaign. Here is her report.
Hello and thanks to Gareth for letting me use his blog to introduce myself 🙂
My name is Zoë, and I recently joined the Health Counselling & Disability Team in a new role that the University has created to help address sexual assault and harassment on campus. I work as a Counsellor and also doing Project Work for the Respect.Now.Always. campaign being run across the country by Universities Australia. To get in contact with me email firstname.lastname@example.org
I might talk more about my role in another blog, but for now just wanted to share a great event I was fortunate enough to be part of yesterday… a campaign being run by students right here at Flinders!
Be A Better Human Campaign – Media Launch
The Tavern was a buzz last night, there was excitement in the air… after 6 months of consulting, considering and creating, FUSA launched its student led campaign on sexual consent and respectful relationships – “Be A Better Human”!
“The Be A Better Human campaign was developed by a group of Flinders Students to reflect the views of students, for students.” – BABH booklet
The event was introduced by Steph Walker, FUSA’s Media and Communications person, who gave some background about how the BABH campaign came to be. In 2017, the Australian Human Rights Commission conducted a randomised survey of university students, including students here at Flinders, and released a report with recommendations about how to address and reduce sexual assault and sexual harassment in the university setting.
In addition to working on putting these recommendations into practice, Flinders University also decided to fund a campaign that was informed and directed by students – to let you, the experts in student life, educate our University about how to help discuss and address these complex issues.
Eliza, the Student Director of the Advisory Group that developed the ideas for the campaign, also spoke and explained the purpose of the campaign –
“1 in 5 students experience sexual assault or harassment, but 5 in 5 of us can do something about it”.
Eliza spoke about the idea that regardless of how we might already be “good humans”, there’s always an opportunity for us to each do better, and make our University a place where people feel safe and respected.
Clare Pollock, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, also spoke about her appreciation of the work of the students in producing this campaign, and the important conversations it hopes to raise around the university.
Want to get involved?
Check out the webpage on FUSA’s website here http://fusa.edu.au/babh/
Or the Events page on FUSA’s Facebook https://www.facebook.com/FUSAssociation/
They contain info about the campaign and resources, as well as upcoming events including:
- BABH Campus Fair on Thurs 10th May from 11-2pm in the Hub for “a day of self-improvement and merriment in the Hub”.
- Q&A panel discussion to answer your questions
You can also join the conversation on twitter #BeABetterHuman
There are a range of funky t-shirts, pins, tote bags and even underwear (available online) to help spread the message across campus. So head into FUSA to collect whatever you’d like to adorn yourself with to show your support!
While you’re at FUSA, make sure you pick up a copy of the Be A Better Human booklet too. It’s packed full of valuable information explaining topics like consent, sexual assault and harassment, rape culture, bystander intervention, reporting on campus, changing culture, and key contacts.
A key message from the campaign…
Affirmative consent is when the verbal and physical cues a person is giving you show that they are comfortable, consenting and keen to continue. It’s all about the proactive asking and giving of consent between people. A “no” is still a ‘no’, but the absence of an enthusiastic and ongoing “yes” is a ‘no’ as well.
Every person has the right to choose to have sex the way they want, and to make that choice freely every time without feeling pressured due to their circumstances or out of fear of repercussions. Saying “yes” to a kiss or allowing your partner to touch you, caress you, take your top off etc. does not imply a yes to everything.
The most basic thing to remember is that consent is voluntary, enthusiastic and continuous.