The Women’s Center is beginning a new program this semester discussing sexual violence prevention and sexual health as a whole on campus. The first Teal Talk took place last Thursday in the lower level of the UB.
Although each talk will cover different topics, this first Talk was simply named, “What is sexual citizenship?” Liz Getz, Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator here at DePauw, gave a presentation on the subject.
In short, sexual citizenship is the idea of agency over one’s own sexual activities. It also covers “one’s responsibility to learn and grow” on many levels, as Getz defined.
“You can’t really solve a problem if you’re just talking to individuals … it’s a much broader process,” Getz said. When working to prevent sexual violence on campus, she said, “we’re looking at the individual, then… how do we affect the community, and then how do we affect the structures within DePauw.”
After covering the definition and history of sexual citizenship (the word has been in use since 1993), Getz invited students to fill out a worksheet which considered the influences on one’s own sexuality, including family and home life, education, and past personal experience.
Ultimately, Getz said that the goal of the Teal Talks was “[to change] the conversation around sexual violence… because sexual violence prevention isn’t just ‘how do you not assault someone,’ it’s ‘how do you have a fully pleasurable experience’.”
“99% of our campus was not given proper sex education,” Getz said, “which does not set you up for success” in relationships and as a campus.
She also emphasized the importance of “making sure students have a full understanding of topics that are really important, not just for themselves, but the community that they’re living in.”
The upcoming Teal Talks will cover other essential topics revolving around sexual health and violence, like the “history of sex and sexual violence, consent and sexual communication, healthy relationships, sexual health and bystander intervention.”
They will take place on February 20th, March 12th, April 9th, and April 23rd. More information can be found on the DePauw website.