'Consent means choice': UPEISU initiative hopes to reach more students
'Choice is a word that a lot of people can understand as opposed to consent'
Consent is the word of the week at UPEI, with pub coasters and posters about consent as well as a number of discussions and workshops being held for the school's second annual consent week.
"I'd say the openness of people's minds has changed a lot. It's something that they're more willing to discuss," said Sarah MacEachern, vice-president of student life at the UPEI Student Union.
MacEachern said the goal this year was to better include LGBT students and the school's growing international population in the initiative.
"We wanted to make sure that the vocabulary we were using was easily understood to those who may not speak English as a first language," she said.
'Let your voice be heard'
"We're just ensuring that people know that consent means choice. Choice is a word that a lot of people can understand as opposed to consent."
Second year international student Anjola Suleman took part in the initiative for the first time, and wrote a letter to support survivors of sexual assault.
"I wrote about voice … it's good to let your voice be heard. It's good to share your story."
Partnered with Pride
The student union also partnered with Pride UPEI to ensure LGBT students were included.
Pride UPEI co-leader Buzz Caravan said she's noticed that the university has become more inclusive over time.
"Each year I feel like they've grown and included more things … so I really hope it continues to grow and get better, and I believe it will."
MacEachern said the student union plans to partner with Our Turn UPEI, a national student group focused on sexual violence prevention, to develop further programs around consent on campus.