First year students talk alcohol and consent

If there’s one thing King’s students don’t shy away from, it’s discussion — even regarding hot-button issues.

The third and last set of King’s Avalon workshops was held on Wednesday. The brainchild of campus safety officer Emma Kenny, the workshops focused on consent and how it fits in with college party culture.

(Photo: John Sandham)

Alex Hall president Jess Brennan believes the topics discussed at the workshops are of special relevance to first-years who are turning 19 and starting to venture beyond the King’s quad.

“What exists (at King’s) are several sets of things in place to make sure they’re OK,” Brennan said, referring to dons, patrol and security workers.

“And so, the goal (of the workshops) is to make sure that once they are old enough to go downtown… they know what to do when there isn’t someone to call 911 for them,” she said.

Each workshop was led by a community educator from Avalon Sexual Assault Centre and was attended by at least one King’s don who could then act as a reference point for students.

Brennan sees organizing and promoting the workshops as a natural addition to her job description.

“My job in Alex Hall is to run events and keep things fun, and in my head, a part of that is just keeping them relatively happy and safe. If I can extend that as much as possible, I’d like to,” she said.

Brennan recalls a particular session during the first set of workshops that were held on Jan. 23.

“Almost everyone from Middle Bay showed up,” she said. “They talked for twice as long as I thought they were going to.”

First-year student and Middle Bay resident Henry Powis was at that workshop. He believes that first-year is the right time to be discussing topics such as consent and alcohol.

“It was a great workshop,” he said. “Obviously I had been taught about all of that before, but it seemed a lot more relevant to me now considering that I’m at this time of my life.”

“I’m really, really happy with them,” Brennan said of the workshops.

Although Wednesday’s workshop was the last one currently on the schedule, Brennan isn’t closing the door on the possibility of holding more in the future.