Student coalition examines #MeToo and recent celebrity sexual harassment cases like Louis C.K.
The Organization Against Sexual Assault held its first coalition meeting Wednesday titled “Coalition for Consent.” This coalition focused on the #MeToo Twitter hashtag that swept social media earlier this year. #MeToo was a way for victims of sexual harassment to show solidarity.
Students sat in a semicircle in Friendly Hall Wednesday night and discussed their reactions to the hashtag and their thoughts surrounding society’s treatment of sexual assault and harassment recently, especially the cases of celebrities Harvey Weinstein and Louis C.K.
“I hope it transforms into actual change as opposed to just another awareness campaign,” said Megan Knox, an attendee of the Organization Against Sexual Assault’s first Coalition for Consent event this year.
OASA member and facilitator of this coalition, Sophie Bange, said she felt the relevance of these instances made good timing for their first event of the year.
“We wanted to use our position as a student group to facilitate discussions and let people talk about these things,” she said.
She recalled seeing a lot of #MeToo posts on her own timelines and the way they made her reflect on her own experiences.
“I feel like this is the first time in recent history sexual assault and harassment has been talked about so much in general culture,” she said. “It’s triggering for a lot of people.”
OASA was formed in 2012, according to Bange, and it used to hold a Coalition for Consent every month. Because of their smaller size this year, Bange said they’re hoping to do some collaboration events with groups like Students for Choice.
Members hope to have another coalition meeting in January.
Eighteen people attended this event, which was more than Bange and fellow OASA members expected. The turnout allowed students to break into groups of four and discuss the ideas on the slides in small groups instead of in front of the room.
Knox saw the smaller turnout as an advantage. She said she felt everyone who attended wanted to be there and that there were no pauses in her group’s discussion.
Bange said they positioned the chairs in the circle to make the space feel more open to discussion as opposed to a lecture.
Students’ talk about the power of social media and its recent use to raise awareness of sexual harassment drowned out the sound of the pouring rain outside.
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