The Wellness Centre opens consent conversations

Consent Tea sets the table for conversations of consent and healthy relationships

The Wellness Centre hosted their 7th annual Consent Tea last week, offering students a safe environment for peer-led discussion about consent, healthy relationships and sexualized violence.

In 2015, the Wellness Centre at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) created a ‘Consent Tea’ event based on a popular consent tea video. It takes a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, and survivor-centred approach to dialogues about consent, sexualized violence, and healthy relationships.

The Consent Tea has evolved into an activity-based, peer-led learning opportunity that attracts groups of people each year.

Relationships may be difficult to navigate, especially when intimate moments are shared over FaceTime or other virtual platforms. As a result, this year’s Consent Tea topic is Digital Consent.

The topic of this year’s Consent Tea was ‘Digital Consent,’ because we are presently living in a pandemic world. When you want to be intimate through FaceTime or share a nude photograph with someone, navigating relationships and consent may be difficult but still required.

Consent Tea encourages students to grow and learn, not just for those who attend but also for those who help organize it. Peer leaders are trained in enabling sensitive subject matter and given the resources to put their talents to the test in an enriched learning environment.

This experience may assist student leaders by providing insight into their subject of study or simply by providing an opportunity for participatory learning through teaching.

As a peer facilitator, one had the chance to teach as well as learn from your peers. Engaging in a collaborative debate on a sensitive topic with fellow students creates a sense of safety and mutuality.

It was not just a chance to practice moderating talks, but it’s also a chance to engage with fellow students about a topic that’s essential to campus culture.

Participating in this event as a student not only provides a chance to acquire experience but also creates a sense of generativity by giving back to the campus community.

Participating in the Consent Tea fostered a feeling of community on campus while also assisting in the fight against sexualized violence.

The Wellness Centre continues to provide a safe environment for TRU students and foster important conversations on campus.