Friendships and relationships are a very important part of university life for many students, which is why here at Sheffield Students’ Union we want to make sure you have the best social life possible and the best time when you are here. This includes feeling safe and comfortable at all times.
For this reason, we have adopted a Zero Tolerance approach to Sexual Harassment and we are now launching an ongoing campaign on consent in partnership with the University, in order to make sure that all of our students have a good understanding of the importance of respecting personal boundaries, and are aware of the consequences that not respecting these will have.
In its most simplified form, consent is all about respecting the boundaries and bodily autonomy of others - things that should be granted to all people, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, relationship status and so on.
It’s really important that before you interact with another person in a way that would impact on their personal boundaries (e.g. instigating a hug, or a kiss) you get and give consent.
Due to the importance of tackling sexual harassment and violence on campus, as well as the inadequacy of sex education in the UK and across the globe, a lot of consent talk has rightly been focusing on sexual consent.
Being aware of consent creates a society where no one feels ashamed to willingly engage in, or to reject, sexual activity - a society where people are respectful of others’ choices, and know that sex without consent is rape, a serious crime for which only the perpetrator can be blamed.