By Paige Morrisey
On Thursday, April 13, Ann Krier, the Community Outreach and Education Coordinator at Planned Parenthood of Columbia Willamette, introduced the inaugural Furthering Reproductive Empowerment and Sexual Health (FRESH) campus program to Willamette University. Planned Parenthood created this three-part series to be introduced on college campuses as a way for students to talk about Safe Sex, Consent, Sexuality and more. In the Hatfield Room of the Hatfield Library, a group of Willamette students joined Krier in conversations about myth-busting, definitions of consent and all different kinds of birth control.
The introduction to the conversation about consent began when Krier provided a memorable acronym that encompasses a holistic understanding of consent. Consent is FRIES.
“Everyone likes fries, right? And everyone likes consent,” Krier remarked. Krier then played a selection of videos from Planned Parenthood’s Consent 101 page on YouTube; the videos included were: “When Someone Doesn’t Want to Have Sex,” “When Someone Isn’t Quite Sure If They Want to Have Sex” and “When Someone Definitely Wants to Have Sex.” These videos highlighted the importance of communication between partners and a respect for each other’s boundaries. Students then engaged in conversation about their own experiences with consent, and how they hope this holistic definition can be illuminating to those who do not understand it.
Discussion was guided by two leading questions based on the videos: Is this how most people actually practice consent? If not, what is different about most people’s consent practices? How do people learn about how to give or ask for clear consent?
Krier then transitioned into discussing methods and access to birth control. She set up posters around the room labeled with their respective birth control method, and asked students to answer three questions: Where can you get this method? How often do you need to do something with this method to make sure it works? What more do you know about this method? The birth control methods included the Copper IUD and Hormonal IUD, the Implant, Depo Shot, the Ring, the Patch, the Pill, External Condoms, Insertive Condoms and Abstinence. As it turns out, students had a lot of questions. Krier concluded the night by including hands-on activities with condoms, and a wrap-up with how to volunteer with Planned Parenthood.
Because FRESH is a three-part series, and part of a larger series of Sex Positive events at Willamette called the SEXPO, Krier will be returning to Willamette to continue these conversations. If students want to be sexually healthy, it is essential to create a space on campus to talk about sex honestly, and Krier representing Planned Parenthood was an integral piece of this conversation. Stay tuned. More FRESH events to come to campus soon.
Freely Given – no threats, intimidation or coercion; no drugs or alcohol in the mix.
Reversible – can change our mind at any time – this includes in the middle of sex.
Informed – STI status, pregnancy risk (is birth control being used?), if sexually active with other people.
Enthusiastic – body language and tone of voice match the words they use; the “yes” is not coerced; if you have to convince them to do it then it’s not a “yes.”
Specific – consent should be given for specific sex acts; should be specific about boundaries and or needs (using barriers, fluid exchange); consent to one thing does not imply consent to something else.