“Hey Cayla, I have a guinea pig. Wanna go feed it?”
This question is just one of the many examples of how to intervene as an active bystander in potentially dangerous situations. Monday night five members of the Speak About It team took to the Weber Theater stage to give a humorous and informative performance about the realities of relationships on college campuses.
Speak About It was created at Bowdoin College by a group of students seeking to make the issues surrounding sexual assault, consent and relationships more relatable to the average student.
The performance opened with a series of light-hearted, yet personal testimonies delivered by each of the five members from anonymous students across the nation. These testimonies ranged from a story of a bisexual young man arriving at college and fearing how he would be accepted by his peers to a story of a girl taking control and choosing to save herself until marriage.
The next stage of the performance began with a musical transition to a simulation of a stereotypical college party (red solo cups in hand). As the party scene progressed, it became evident that the protagonist Cayla and her male friend were too intoxicated to make rational decisions concerning their well-being.
From this point on, the moral of the skit became that bystanders in social situations have an obligation to intervene when the safety of others is at risk. As one of the performers demonstrated, you don’t have to be a hero in a red cape to help someone out of an unsafe situation.
Other themes of the evening included the importance of continued consent in sexual situations and the all too familiar statistic that one in five women are victims of sexual assault in college.
The show closed on a more serious note. Standing in the spotlights with heads faced to the ground, the speakers recounted specific stories of the horrors of assault and its aftermath. Whether or not students felt that they had gained information from the performance, it is undisputed that each left the theater with a better grasp of what it means to be truly aware.
Anyone who wishes to speak about these issues can do so by talking to an RA, Public Safety or members of S.M.A.R.T. on campus.
Categories: Arts and Culture