IWU launches new consent campaign

By Katie Fata Sep 25, 2020
Photo Courtesy of: Dean of Students Office
An example of the graphics that can now be seen around campus.

Illinois Wesleyan has implemented a new consent campaign on campus called “Consent is…” The new campaign will replace “Consent is Sexy,” which was on campus for over 10 years.

The new campaign focuses on IWU and utilizes a multimedia approach that includes small posters with words that represent the general definition of consent. The Dean of Students’ office will showcase IWU leaders throughout the campaign. Leaders will include students involved on campus, faculty and staff. 

Junior Janiyah Williams, who interned for the Dean of Students Office during the summer, worked on the campaign after the office decided that it was outdated and received feedback that many felt uncomfortable with the posters and language that the campaign used. 

“We wanted the campaign to represent IWU in a way that the previous campaign did not,” Williams said. 

The “Consent is Sexy” campaign was perceived as a joke because of the connotation of the words being used, according to Williams. 

“I think the new campaign is really important because it shows that consent isn’t a joke, which is how some people perceived the “Consent is Sexy” campaign,” junior Kevon Langston said. 

“Consent Is. . .” was launched during Turning Titan, IWU’s first-year orientation week, in order to get feedback and gauge the campus community’s reactions to the campaign. New Titans are also required to go through Hook Up, which is an educational program about consent and sexual assault during orientation week. In previous years, “Consent is Sexy” would then be introduced to students. 

This year, the Dean’s Office chose to utilize a multimedia approach that includes small posters with words chosen by students that represent consent. Buttons and stickers were passed out to the first-year students and Titan Orientation leaders as well as recently launched Snapchat filters for the campaign that were available for the past two weeks. 

“Students loved it. Orientation leaders were very excited that we were getting rid of the old campaign and replacing it with our own,” Williams said. 

Before launching, the Dean of Students Office held focus groups with the Summer Enrichment Program interns and Greek life leaders. The focus groups were held in order to find out what they wanted to see included in the campaign and to get a sense of how people felt before it launched. During the focus groups, participants were asked what words and phrases represent consent to them and their input was used  to create the posters that are being put up around campus. 

“The new consent campaign is reflective of today’s generation. It will age better than the Consent is Sexy campaign and provide a more effective way to instill the values of consent,” junior Myeia Donald said. 

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