Eastern Oregon University > Press > Students discuss consent online

Students discuss consent online

Campus advocate brings awareness to online harassment

Library display for sexual assault awareness month

April 29, 2021 LA GRANDE, Ore. – Taylor Tibbetts leverages her Privileged Campus Advocate (PCA) Instagram to spotlight resources for people experiencing abuse.  

Tibbetts, a Shelter From the Storm employee based on the Eastern Oregon University campus, organized a range of events and opportunities in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This year, programming focused on the online platforms that gained usership during the COVID-19 pandemic. She said virtual interactions require consent, just like in-person.

“Consent online is also a huge deal that a lot of people may not have realized, or don’t really talk about sometimes,” Tibbetts said. 

Dating, relationships, and friendships have been formed through online connections this year, Tibbetts noted. She used this insight to create a campaign based on platforms like Zoom and virtual dating sites many have been using to create connections. Individuals ranging from middle school to college-age students have become more active in a virtual world.   

“Online consent and abuse is not a new idea, but since many people are living in a virtual world, online consent is something that needs to be addressed more,” Tibbetts said. 

As Privileged Campus Advocate, Tibbetts can provide confidential support and resources to students or employees experiencing domestic abuse, sexual harassment, stalking, or assault. Her office is located in the EOU library, room 216. 

Usually, Tibbetts would be on campus with a booth, but this year her message is on the Shelter From The Storm website. 

“This year we have put together a ‘What I Was Wearing’ art exhibit. It was something I had seen at the first college I went to and it was super impactful—getting real outfits and stories from survivors of what they were wearing when they went through their assault,” Tibbetts said. “[It also takes] down that stigma of “oh, she wasn’t wearing that short skirt, the tight tops: it can be a sweatshirt. It can be sweatpants.’”

Tibbetts also created SAAM swag bags that contain items like pens and stickers alongside flyers with awareness information. These free bags are available in the dorms, the first floor of Hoke and the student health center. Students are also welcome to swing by the Library, room 216 to pick up a bag as well. 

Learn more about SAAM at EOU at eou.edu/titleix/saam.   

By PR Intern Emily Andrews