Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Friday, December 09, 2022 — Houston, TX

Consent talks should be a conversation year-round

By Thresher Editorial Board     10/4/22 11:07pm

It’s nearly time for Night of Decadence, the ever-popular, notorious and sex-centric Wiess costume public. NOD is, hands down, Rice’s most renowned public. It’s been highlighted in Playboy and Rolling Stone magazines. It even has its own Wikipedia page. 

Given the nature of this public, chief justices across campus will be giving alcohol, consent and body and sex positivity talks. This is part of an effort to minimize the possibility of assaults and other inappropriate incidents occurring at the public and to maximize students’ enjoyment. We applaud college governments for raising discussions about consent and safe sex. But these concerns don’t start — or end — with NOD, and neither should the talks to address them.

Last year, we wrote about the importance of practicing the culture of care as most of the Rice campus experiences public parties for the first time. Part of that process, which is crucial to the survival of public parties in the future, should include an ongoing conversation about consent and safety for every public, not just NOD. 



We do appreciate that new Rice students are required to engage in sexual health and communication, healthy relationships and bystander intervention conversations in the Critical Thinking in Sexuality course. However, only New Students enroll in CTIS, typically during their first semester. 

Conversations about consent and alcohol safety should be front and center before every public, but we understand the logistical barriers this would create. Instead of waiting until October, student leaders should give these talks before the first public of the year to ensure everyone receives this important information as soon as possible.

Over the next week and a half, we urge you to engage in NOD talks, be mindful of your peers and, most importantly, have fun. But moving forward, we encourage college governments to introduce these vital conversations earlier in the school year.

Editor’s Note: Thresher editorials are collectively written by the members of the Thresher’s editorial board. Current members include Ben Baker-Katz, Morgan Gage, Bonnie Zhao, Hajera Naveed, Nayeli Shad, Riya Misra, Michelle Gachelin, Daniel Schrager, Prayag Gordy and Brandon Chen. Editor-in-chief Morgan Gage recused herself from this editorial due to her involvement in discussions around NOD talks.



More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 11/29/22 11:00pm
Is using Fizz worth sacrificing our Culture of Care?

The social media app Fizz made its way to our campus earlier this semester, offering an anonymous discussion platform for exchanging messages and memes amongst Rice students. In recent weeks, antisemitic and racist posts were made by members of our community on this app. It is entirely hateful and dangerously intolerant. 

OPINION 11/29/22 10:54pm
International issues deserve our attention, too

Anyone who walked through the academic quad on Monday encountered the statue of William Marsh Rice visibly covered by sheets of A4 paper that read “习近平下台,” which roughly translates to “Resign Xi Jinping.” Other signs read “No emperor in a republic” and “Not my president.” These signs are part of larger protests happening in mainland China — that are being echoed by Chinese people across the world — in response to nearly three years of aggressive COVID lockdowns across the country. 

OPINION 11/15/22 10:21pm
Where we must agree: the politics of humanness

The words “free speech” will likely elicit groans from Thresher readers. Over the last three years, there have been three articles in the Opinion section bemoaning the need for a “classically liberal” political discourse at Rice. Unfortunately, between their self-righteousness and needless wordiness, they read more like whiny lectures than conversation starters. However, despite their condescension, their existence does suggest something unsettling about not just our campus politics, but politics at large. As the electorates of democracies around the world have become more sharply divided, the way we speak to each other, not just across the aisle but to our similarly minded partisans, has become more accusatory, exclusionary and violent. Put simply: we do not want to talk to each other, and understandably so. It is exhausting, and, more than that, we just don’t seem to know how to.


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.