When Paula Madrigal and Jason Parker, of the Weigel Health Center and the Equity and Campus Diversity Office, respectively, discussed the intricacies of sexual consent with a group of Buffalo State students on April 13, their message extended far beyond the classroom in Ketchum Hall.
Portions of their “I Love Consent” workshop, attended by approximately 50 male and female undergraduates, aired on National Public Radio’s This American Life on May 16. The workshop was featured as the first act of three in a segment on difficult conversations that repeated on May 17.
The show garnered numerous positive responses from alumni and others across the country. It also grabbed the attention of a reporter with Fusion, a multiplatform media affiliate of ABC News targeted toward millennials. She later interviewed Madrigal for a piece on sex education that posted on June 2.
During the workshop, organized at the request of the campus’s Iota Phi Theta fraternity, Madrigal and Parker adeptly answered questions from the students and tried to explain the nuances of “affirmation consent” that is part of a SUNY-wide set of practices New York Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced in December to combat sexual assaults on campus.
With the assistance of Kerrie Findlay, graduate intern from Canisius, the Equity and Campus Diversity Office rolled out the “I Love Consent” campaign at the beginning of 2015 to educate the campus that anything other than a verbal "yes" is not consent to sexual activity. Throughout the spring semester, Parker and Madrigal led workshops in the residence halls, with various athletic teams, sororities and fraternities, and other campus organizations.
Madrigal noted that anyone can request to schedule a workshop.
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