Candy, costumes, and sex toys: ‘My Costume Is Not Consent’ a success at Oxford

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Throughout the autumn, many scholar organizations have been in a position to placed on in-person programming after over a 12 months of digital occasions. For some, this implies the thrilling return of previous traditions. On Oct. 29, the Oxford Sexual Assault Peer Advocates (OxSAPA) and Student Activities Committee (SAC) bought to convey again their annual Halloween social gathering “My Costume Is Not Consent.”  

To shut out Halloweek — SAC’s collection of occasions main as much as Halloween — the social gathering hosted Oxford college students at the Oxford Student Center for a night time of enjoyable actions and supplied data on relationship violence, sex training and sources for sexual assault.

“It felt like a revival within the Oxford group in a means, you realize,” OxSAPA President Divya Pereira (22Ox) mentioned. “It was one of many greater occasions of the 12 months to date, [and] as sophomores, we’ve by no means seen everybody in a place like this in like ever as a result of final 12 months was so useless.”

Planning for the occasion started in early September. SAC and OxSAPA labored carefully collectively in organizing, reserving rooms and promoting the occasion within the weeks beforehand. 

“It’s one thing that we’re each actually keen about,” SAC President Anya Kasubhai (22Ox) mentioned. “So we talked about that for a whereas, and then we created a little committee to start out brainstorming the concepts [and make] a procuring cart record.” 

Pereira mentioned the occasion was nicely deliberate, as OxSAPA coordinated the theme, actions and communication whereas SAC organized the meals and decorations. 

Pereira emphasised that the objective of the occasion was to make sex training enjoyable, accessible and upfront by throwing a social gathering that the whole scholar physique might take pleasure in. To contact on the theme of the night time, one exercise was pin the tongue on the clitoris, a sport performed equally to pin the tail on the donkey. Other choices included cranberry juice pong, board video games, a costume contest and dancing. 

Leading as much as the occasion, OxSAPA distributed flyers, stickers and brochures on campus for sexual assault prevention, basic security ideas and warnings in opposition to crimson flags in relationships. They additionally marketed the prizes – numerous sex toys – for the M&M’s jar guessing sport and the costume contest. 

Though the unconventional points of the occasion piqued college students’ pursuits, many had been grateful for merely having a secure place to bop and spend time with mates.

“I felt like extra folks knew that it was taking place,” mentioned Edgar Sanchez (23Ox). “It was form of a two-part factor, too. Me and my mates had been gonna go there, and after that, we might simply hang around.”

Students weren’t solely excited for the social gathering ambiance. Some, like Ray Asante (23Ox), had been additionally delighted to find the theme of the occasion.

“I actually like the entire thought of not being judged for no matter outfit you’re carrying,” Asante mentioned. “It’s Halloween, it’s about having enjoyable. Bodies are our bodies — they’re not inherently sexual.”

However, each Asante and Sanchez emphasised how the group grew to become extra energized shortly earlier than the social gathering ended. Asante wished that the social gathering had stretched into the early morning. Pereira agreed, saying that subsequent 12 months, she hopes OxSAPA and SAC would prolong the hours of the social gathering.

“I’m simply actually comfortable that everybody got here out, and I hope that they arrive out for extra of our occasions,” OxSAPA Events Chair Michelle Dai (22Ox) mentioned. “I do know we’re in all probability doing a Valentine’s Day social gathering as a result of we try this yearly — it’s referred to as the ‘Pussy Power Party’ — and we’re looking for out what distinctive actions to do with that.”

As for “My Costume Is Not Consent,” Kasubhai couldn’t have been extra glad with the success of the occasion.

“We had been in a position to throw out T-shirts at the group, and it was actually nice to see how many individuals bought hyped about our merch,” Kasubhai mentioned. “Everything was value it, [and] all of our arduous work paid off.” 

And for Pereira, whether or not or to not have the occasion in coming years is a no-brainer, as she’s seen the affect it could have on college students. 

“There was this one one who got here as much as me close to the top, and they mentioned, ‘Thank you for placing this on as a result of I didn’t actually have any Halloween plans, [and] this sort of made me have a place to be [during] this actually arduous time in faculty,’” Pereira mentioned. “And I used to be like, ‘Wow, that is so good. That was the entire level of the occasion.’”

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