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Consent for Students

                  
Consent workshops for university students delivered by professionals with many years' experience
 

university students

 

 

The Art of Consent supports universities to become safe, welcoming and accessible learning environments for all students, by helping to build a culture of consent for everybody, every day.

We specialise in:

  • Consent workshops for freshers

engaging, trauma-informed, non-patronising, and inclusive of different genders and sexualities

  • Top-up workshops for postgrads and 2nd & 3rd yrs

developing a deeper understanding of consent and boundaries including consent in relationships

  • Building a culture of consent at your university

encouraging ongoing conversations and practices for developing consent skills in all areas of life, including sex

 

Consent is rightly a hot topic in universities - especially sexual consent, which is crucial in preventing serious harm.  Learning good consent skills also helps bring more clarity, authenticity and enjoyment to relationships in all areas of our lives.

The Art of Consent is a team of professionals offering the highest standards of consent and boundaries education to university students.  We are proud to have worked with both Oxford University and Cambridge University during 2023.

“We can talk about consent 'til we can’t talk any more, but without a way to teach people about consent, not just conceptually but in the body and in the voice, we won’t arrive at the consent culture we seek.”

Carol Queen, Sex and Relationships Educator

University students

 

TESTIMONIALS

for the

Art of Consent

 

Claire Thompson,Wellbeing Coordinator, Fitzwilliam College,

Cambridge University:

"I really appreciated the down-to-earth, engaging, open and fun approach to leading these sessions with our students. I believe that building a culture of consent in all areas of life – not just in our sexual lives - is vital if we are to build a world where relationships are respectful, creative and fulfilling.  The students also loved this more holistic approach to addressing issues around consent!”

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Tyra Amofah-Akardom, Graduate Student, Fitzwilliam College,

Cambridge University:

"Being able to experience these workshops was such a gift. The conversation surrounding boundaries and consent is often presented as black and white, lacking nuance, and only about sexual encounters.  However, the Art of Consent workshop illuminated many complex areas and issues surrounding consent and how it affects our everyday lives.

Ever since this workshop, I've thought more deeply about how consent affects me every day, and it's already positively impacted my mental health.  I know many people think they know all there is to know about consent, but trust me - there is so much more we can learn, and this workshop is a brilliant contribution to our conversations about consent."


A word to universities...

Numerous studies have shown high rates of sexual assault and harassment on campus.  Universities have a duty of care toward their students, yet are frequently criticised for failing to address these problems.  It is widely accepted that, rather than being caused solely by a few bad actors, sexual assault and harassment are systemic, and can therefore only be effectively addressed by building a culture of consent within colleges and universities.


A parliamentary research briefing published in 2022 recommends that:

“Universities should offer consent classes to all students. These should set out what sexual violence is, how to seek and recognise consent before sexual encounters, how to identify situations in which consent cannot be given, and the sanctions for committing sexual misconduct.”  It also describes the importance of “addressing the underlying issues of power and privilege in student sexual violence and misconduct that might be constructively challenged by educational interventions”. 

Issues of power, coercion, privilege and consent are sensitive topics, and the best way to reduce systemic problems is through prevention.  However, most universities offer at best just one short session on consent for freshers, which is often either completed alone online or facilitated by second year students with minimum training.  To fulfill their duty of care, universities could - and many people feel should - be doing more to support the well-being of their students.  At the Art of Consent we believe that professionally held, trauma-infomed, in-person workshops are a powerful and meaningful step in the right direction.

 

Central to our approach is the understanding that consent is not a one-off event – instead it must be ongoing.  This is as true for a single sexual encounter as it is for a student’s three-year stay within a university community.  We therefore offer 'top-up' workshops for 2nd/3rd years and postgrads, to deepen their understanding of these topics and help students integrate consent teachings into their own ongoing sexual experience.  We also support peer conversations about consent and boundaries - not just during sex, but in all areas of life - to help build a culture of consent within the organisation as a whole.

If you are responsible for arranging consent training for students at your university, we can offer you a free 20-minute zoom call to talk through your options and see if the Art of Consent might be a good fit for your organisation.

 

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