Earlier this evening, we received an anonymous tip of a poster from the new Sexual Violence Response consent campaign. The poster says “CONSENT IS BAE #BeforeAnythingElse.” The slogan will be featured in the presentations on sexual respect that all first-years are required to attend during NSOP. In the words of the tipster, some students on campus believe “this poster both trivializes consent and appropriates African American Vernacular English.”
With first-years beginning to move in tomorrow for pre-orientation programs, these posters could likely be one of their first impressions of SVR and its attitude toward sexual violence. Last year’s campaign, which compared consent to traffic lights, was similarly criticized for its juvenile concept and disconnect from student experience. We have reached out to SVR for comment on the poster campaign. We will update this post with any response we may receive.
Update, 8/26/15: We received the following response from SVR in regards to their poster series. They also sent us another poster being used in the campaign, which can be seen below.
Sexual Violence Response (SVR) seeks to promote healthy sexuality and positive behaviors. Historically, SVR has approached its consent education campaign from a constructive, encouraging, and fun perspective. This is also consistent with the tone at the national level, most recently with the affirmative consent legislation.
The Consent is BAE poster was developed in conjunction with SVR student staff and was specifically created to speak to students in a more conversational tone, rather than a lecture. It was designed to engage students on the topic of consent and drive to SVR social media channels to learn more. It’s the first in a series of educational communications that will be used this year. We hope students will continue to think, learn and participate in discourse about this topic beyond this one message.