The Red Zone: Things You Need to Know About Consent

Natalie Turman

As fall semester approaches at Georgia Southern University and a new wave of freshmen students prepare for college, the Red Zone also draws near.

What is the Red Zone?

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, more than 50 percent of college sexual assaults occur during the Red Zone, the period of time from the first day of classes to the first school break.

“During that period of time, students are at their highest risk for being sexually assaulted,” Jodi Caldwell, director of the Counseling Center said.

Consent in Three

Caldwell also listed the three main things students should know about consent:

1. Consent is the responsibility of the person who initiates sexual activity.

“It’s not about gender roles. It’s not about who’s been drinking or hasn’t been drinking. It’s the responsibility of the person who initiates sexual interaction to obtain consent from their partner,” Caldwell said.

2. Being intoxicated is not an excuse for not obtaining consent.

“Being intoxicated does prevent somebody from legally being able to give consent. The moral of that story is if you think you want to engage in sexual activity, you want to talk about it while you’re both sober,” Caldwell said.

3. Consent can be revoked at anytime.

“Consent is an ongoing process. It’s not a one time answer. So if at any time a person becomes uncomfortable and changes their mind, they have a right to do that,” Caldwell said.

Student Resources

If a student becomes a victim of a sexual assault, they have access to GS’ 24-hour Counseling Center located on Forest Drive.

GS Public Safety provides a Rape, Aggression, Defense (RAD) course, that is free to students. Students can talk to a sexual assault advocate and/or file a report through the GSPD.

Students can also choose to contact the university police without filing a report.

Additionally, GS’s Title IX office helps protects students from sex discrimination. You are able to report an incident to the Title IX Coordinator in the Title IX Office at 912-478-5136, according to GS Sexual Assault Response website.

Students also have access to off-campus resources, such as the Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center if the student wishes to talk to someone who isn’t affiliated with Georgia Southern.

Other Events

The Georgia Southern Sexual Assault Response Team, alongside the GS Wellness Program, puts on various events throughout the school year to bring awareness to sexual assault, consent and other issues. Some of the events include:

Sex Signals (8/28 – 8/31): A interactive presentation about sexual assault, dating and other related categories. It is mainly for students completing their FYE course.

Walk A Mile In Her Shoes (March 30): A march in which men wear high heels in a walk around campus to raise awareness for domestic violence.

Caldwell said, “We try to keep the messages out there for students so that it’s not just a once a year, here’s your thing, but really, we want people to constantly be aware.”

Graphic by Cayley Creekmore.