Radical Sex and Consent Week: Meet Your Directors
Courtney Thompson and Victoria Zerbst are two students committed to changing the conversation around sex on campus, and as directors of this year’s Radical Sex and Consent Week, the pair have got some big ideas and events planned to achieve this.
Now in its second year at the University of Sydney, Radical Sex and Consent Week celebrates diverse sexualities, normalises discussions around active consent, and promotes ideas surrounding sexual health and mutually satisfying sex.
All this is achieved through on-campus events, workshops, panels and activities. Courtney and Victoria take the reins from 2014-15 USU Vice President Bebe D’Souza, who brought the concept to our campus after its success at the University of Melbourne. While they have a hard act to follow, both are incredibly passionate about supporting what the festival stands for, as Radical Sex and Consent Week has been extended from a one day event to a three day festival, with more activities, events and ways for students to get involved.
“Such a large population of the student body are still in the dark and don’t understand these issues, ranging from gender identity to polyamory to consent”, says Courtney, a third year Media and Communications student who applied for the role after hearing about it through the Wom*n’s Collective. “Radical Sex and Consent Week provides a way for people to ask questions they think they otherwise couldn’t get the answers they need on a diverse range of topics, such as body image, sexuality, gender and sexual health.”
And ask questions they can. This year students can submit their questions anonymously online, and they’ll be answered live at the Radical Sex and Consent Week events and on the USU Twitter page.
Victoria, a second year Arts Languages student, says she hopes it is efforts like this that make the festival appeal to a diverse range of students. "I would love to continue discussions on campus by empowering people from all different backgrounds to share their experiences and celebrate their sexuality in a safe, inclusive and engaging environment.”
Together, Courtney and Victoria have put together a program that aims to be both accessible and inclusive, including panel discussions on sexual assault reporting procedures, trans people and use of language, and sexual rights and ethics in Islam (run by the Muslim Wom*n’s Collective), as well as fun activities including the Racy-Race sex ed challenge, a clothes swap, and vulva cookie decorating. “We hope people will walk away with new ways of thinking and understanding,” says Courtney. “[We hope] that they’ll be more comfortable within themselves, and have more tools up their sleeves to tackle issues surrounding sex, empowerment and sexuality.”
Want to get involved? Check out the full program, join the Facebook event and share your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #USURadSex. Plus, ask any questions you may have anonymously online, and your question may be answered at one of the events.
Show your support by wearing a Radical Sex and Consent Week t-shirt - on sale for $10 on Eastern Ave, with all money raised going towards Hey Sis!, a charity dedicated to assisting Aboriginal Women affected by sexual assault.
Radical Sex and Consent Week is on from Tuesday 25 to Thursday 27 August at Eastern Ave.