Freshman, Caleb Simpson, displays a pin given to the audience at the Signs and Signals performance. The pin debunks a common myth that silence implies consent. PN Photo/Cherish Williams
By Cherish Williams, Reporter
UNCP students gathered in Givens Performing Arts Center to examine signals college students encounter regarding common signs of sexual assault and harassment.
On Sept. 28, students gathered to watch and participate in “Signs and Signals,” an interactive performance focused on educating college students about protecting themselves and others from sexual assault and harassment.
The performance hosted by Housing and Residence Life highlighted behavior that college students may encounter that is seen as relatively normal but could potentially be harmful. A two-person team of highly trained educators performed several skits acting out multiple instances where a college student will encounter potentially dangerous behavior. In one skit, the pair acted out a scene where a male student encouraged his friend to monitor a girl at a party and encouraged her to drink excessively to convince a female to have sex with him.
After the skit, the crowd engaged in open conversation about the harmful actions displayed in the skit. One student in the audience, Kristin Stirklin, pointed out how the friend who encouraged the behavior is “equally responsible” in the situation. The crowd also offered ways for all students on campus to avoid becoming victims in this situation, such as always going to a party with friends.
The performers explained that sex education often does not acknowledge LGBTQ+ relationships. Many students in the crowd explained that sex education does not include the safety concern of non-binary individuals.
The performers also explained that men are commonly ignored when discussing sexual violence. Caleb Simpson, a UNCP freshman, appreciated that the performance highlighted that “not only females are getting sexually assaulted and males also have feelings and emotions.”