The San Diego State Well-Being and Health Promotion Department organized an “Every Kiss Begins with Consent” event at the North Library Walkway this Valentine’s Day in hopes of educating students about safe sex practices and the need for consent by welcoming students to participate in games and activities.
The event was co-hosted by peer health education programs FratMANers (Fraternity Men Against Negative Environments and Rape Situations), a program for fraternity men to educate peers about sexual violence, and SISSTER (Sororities Invested in Survivor Support, Training, and Ending Rape culture) in efforts to open the conversation about safe sex to the school’s public.
Students played games like “Do I have your permission,” which allowed students to practice talking about consent. Prizes such as popsicles, free condoms and lubricant were given to students stopping by.
Kashmone Hamilton, health educator and coordinator of the Every Kiss Begins with Consent event said though some students may not be sexually active, it is important to be educated.
“We want to be able to provide (students) the education and tools for prevention purposes just so that they can make informed, well-educated decisions about their sexual health and also get them to think about communication,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said the dangers students face in regarding safe sex and consent can also happen off campus.
“It’s something that you can experience whether you’re in college or not,” Hamilton said. “Just the fact that sometimes when we’re not communicating with our partners and not talking about what our wants and needs and our boundaries are, sometimes we can end up in a situation where we have regretted sex or sometimes that’s where sexual assault can occur.”
Hamilton said the purpose of the Well-Being and Health Promotion Department is to let students know they are supported.
“(The department’s purpose is) to make sure that we’re doing what we need to do for college students,” Hamilton said.
The event occurs annually, generally on or close to Valentine’s Day. Though it only happens once a year, students are encouraged to seek reproductive help and advice if needed through resources offered on campus.
During the event, students in the public health major conducted research on the program and gathered information about why people were coming out.
Public health senior Sandra Johnson said she thought it was great to have the event for students.
“They’re letting everybody know that it’s okay to be you — don’t be ashamed of the questions you have or what information you might need because there’s always resources that you can get them from,” Johnson said.
Jamie Harguess, public health and behavioral science senior and graduate intern for the Well-Being and Health Promotion Department, repeated the need for consent in sexual encounters.
“The goal here is to let students know that consent is always asked,” Harguess said. “You always need to ask for consent and it always needs to be given and if it’s revoked, that’s when it needs to stop.”
Events similar to Every Kiss Begins with Consent can be found on SDSU’s Let’s Talk website.