Ferris freshmen attended “Communication, Choices and Consent” for their freshman seminar class, a presentation where they learned the importance of the three c’s surrounding sexual relationships.
The two speakers at the event—Elisa Cotter, the university counselor at Birkham Health and Personal Counseling center, and Kevin Carmody, the Title IX coordinator and the associate dean of student life—knew from previous research that freshmen did not want to learn about the biology of sex.
Instead, they touched on the definitions, myths, barriers and benefits of sex.
“I thought that it was informative and kind of funny, they made a lot of jokes to lighten the mood,” said Ferris mechanical engineering freshman Ben Scheiderer.
According to Cotter, open communication is important.
“Ask questions. You can’t assume we’re all on the same page because we all have different opinions and definitions of sex because we all come from different cultural backgrounds,” Cotter said. “Don’t be afraid to ask ‘what do we do if we have an unplanned pregnancy?’ or ‘how do you feel about wearing a condom?’”
According to Carmody, consent is positive, clear, voluntary and needs to be ongoing.
“There has to be a ‘yes,’ you have to ask if it isn’t clear, there are no ultimatums and throughout any point consent can be taken away,” Carmody said. “There is not a look that gives consent, not even a certain outfit gives consent. Sex with no consent is rape.”
According to Cotter, one can give consent to one behavior, like kissing, but not to another behavior, like sex.
“There is not a point of no return, your partners emotional safety is more important than getting blue balls—which you may be surprised that woman experience blue balls more than men,” said Carmody.
Rachel Harmen, freshmen in criminal justice, thinks that this event could have helped students feel comfortable and safe talking about these topics, especially since they may not have experience being away from home.
There were two presentations of this event on Thursday, Sept. 29 in Williams Auditorium, at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.