The SOAS Students’ Union has been tackling sexual harassment and violence for years now. Our strategy is not only one of providing (and improving) support for those who experience gender-based violence, but very much a strategy of changing the culture of impunity and silence on campus.
The work of the Students’ Union is to create a consent culture at SOAS, which we can carry away & promote wherever we go in life. Over the past two years the SU has secured a commitment and funding from the School to deliver mandatory consent workshops to all new undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at SOAS. The SU now runs these mandatory consent workshops during Freshers’ Fortnight. This is a significant victory, but we cannot rest at this. Creating a consent culture means involving everyone on campus in the efforts to change our ways, individually and collectively.
The SU now has Welfare Contacts who are points of call during SU-organised parties (or other events on request) for anyone experiencing abuse or harassment. However, the campaign continues, in order to push for consent workshops for all students and all staff. Furthermore, public events against sexual violence, and individual or group support for those who have experienced such violences are other activities the campaign seeks to provide.
Our vision of a consent culture is where harassment and violence is not tolerated, where everyone feels empowered and confident to seek out support, and where we can all respect each others’ boundaries, comfort zones, sexualities and desires.
To get involved in the campaign, contact: