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Spilling the tea: ‘Tea and Consent’ video removed from O-Week program

By Anna Ta     8/21/18 11:08pm

In response to criticism of last year’s programming during Orientation Week, the Title IX office phased out the “Tea and Consent” video, which used giving someone a cup of tea as a metaphor for performing sexual acts with them.

According to Allison Vogt, director of sexual violence prevention and Title IX support, the Title IX office is now showing New York University’s “Let’s Talk About Consent” video during the SAFE @ Rice programming instead.

“We are no longer showing Consent as Tea because we heard from some students that they felt that the video makes light of sexual assault,” Vogt said. “We felt the NYU video encapsulated our messaging about consent – that students should be looking towards having safe, healthy sexual relationships and not be looking towards the line of where the encounter would become non-consensual.”

Last semester, Jones College senior Ranjini Nagaraj and Baker College junior Rebecca Francis wrote an opinion piece for the Thresher urging the office of well-being to exclude the tea video from the “Sexual Assault Free Environment” O-Week presentation, criticizing the video’s trivialization of sexual assault.

“The importance of the topic the video addresses is lost as people remember only the associated laughter and silliness in the weeks and years following their O-Week,” Nagaraj and Francis wrote.

Vogt said she hopes the changes will improve buy-in to the messaging.

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