August 17, 2011
New students gather on main campus for orientation
With the first day of fall semester classes beginning Thursday, new students
on Cowley College’s main campus in Arkansas City took part in
the school’s orientation Wednesday in the Brown Center.
The students were greeted by Cowley College president Dr. Patrick J. McAtee and were then introduced to the school’s Student Ambassadors and members of the Cowley Student Senate.
After breakout sessions with the school’s advisors and a presentation from the Cowley Activity Awareness Team, the students settled into the Robert Brown Theatre to listen to key note speakers Courtney Abbott and Cameron Miller, as they discussed their sexual assault awareness program, SEX SIGNALS!
The presentation differed from traditional sexual assault prevention programs in that it incorporated improvisational comedy, education, and audience interaction to provide a provocative look at dating, sex, and the core issue of consent. The ninety-minute two-person play began by taking an irreverent and funny look at the awkwardness of dating as the actors represent each gender's perspective.
Through improvisation and audience interaction, the play explored how social pressures, unrealistic fantasies, power inequity, and false preconceptions of the other sex all contribute to the tensions often found in dating. Then, through a semi-improvisational scene, the presenters demonstrated how these, and other factors can lead to sexual assault.
The speakers encouraged the students to both provide solutions for creating safer and healthier interpersonal sexual relationships, and brainstorm how they could positively intervene as bystanders when they witness a friend or stranger in a vulnerable situation that could lead to sexual violence.
Following the presentation, Ben Schears, vice president for institutional advancement, and Kristi Shaw, director of student life, provided the closing remarks and wished the students well in the 2011-2012 school year.
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