Consent Carnival Packs Wilkins Plaza

Find out how students are incorporating consent with carnival games…


In collaboration with Women & Gender Studies,  the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Multicultural Education (ODIME), Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Resources and Student Government, the Student Support & Advocacy Center (SSAC) held an event called Consent Carnival at Wilkins Plaza on Wednesday, Sept. 19. The plaza was jam-packed with students ready for interactive games, free food and prizes.

Along with the fun, the main goal was to further educate students about the value of consent.

“What we are trying to do is raise awareness about healthy relationships and most importantly about getting consent from your partner if you are going to be involved in intimate relations,” said Maggie Olszewska, director of SSAC.

Booths at the carnival included a penis ring toss, vagina bean bag toss, lubricant taste testing and more.

Angelique Arintok/ Fourth Estate

Students were not shy to participate in the free activities offered. Freshman information technology major Sofia Velasquez shared the carnival experience with friends, noting “consent is important coming from both people [in the relationship].”

The taboo nature of talking about consent is shed when approached in a less-serious way. Integrating the entertainment factor of a carnival with a topic as serious as this one launches the conversation to the next level.

“[The carnival] is a non-threatening way to talk about consent,” said Nancy Xiong, associate director of the Women and Gender Studies department.

Xiong further added that the highest rate of rape and sexual assault happens within a student’s first few weeks of college.

With attention toward consent in sexual or intimate relations, it was also important for organizers to address consent in all arenas.

Brandi Blake, assitant director at ODIME + LGBTQ Resources, led a booth featuring “Hair Nah.” The video game featured the struggle black women often face about people touching their hair without permission.

“Our booth is about personal space and consent [when it comes to hair/hairstyles],” Blake said.

Students on campus have these offices and resources available to them in times of need or crisis. All offices encourage students to stay active by coming to speak with their representatives and extending a conversation within these zones, whether in person or online.