Letter to the editor: Consent the D should not be

Consent the D, a new university organization, should hire a communication consultant immediately. I’m a communication student, a woman, a daughter and a sister. And this organization’s poor messaging disgusted me.

Students must converse about sexual violence and harassment. It’s critical. But, this t-shirt is a shame.

A sentence tells a story. This vulgar innuendo not only makes a joke of sexual violence, but it implies that consent is always an option. This movement is not an appropriate way to spark conversation and detracts attention from the heart of the issue. Students should instead support initiatives like the NO MORE campaign or Purple Purse.

Consent the D may serve as a platform for men to speak out against sexual violence, but thank god some men are a bit more sensitive to the issue than this group.

“I do not believe it should fall on the burden of white, straight males to speak up about the issue,” Drew Jonson, a junior at DePaul University, said. “Why is it that when a women says ‘rape,’ she was asking for it, but when a man says ‘rape’ people lend their ears?”

Maybe the organization did not intend to upset students, but the words shout otherwise.

According to Consent the D’s Founder Randy Vollrath, a portion of the T-shirt profits are donated to Rape Victim Advocates of Chicago. Advocates provide services to survivors of sexual assault and offer sexual assault crisis intervention training. This local organization is worth supporting, but you don’t need to buy an ill-mannered T-shirt to do so.

By the way, where is the rest of the money going? As a communication student, I demand transparency.

A campaign isn’t about selling a product. Students see right through that. An anti-violence movement should instead engage students one story at a time. Consent the D, think critically about the issue and give me a valid reason to support this organization. T-shirts should be an afterthought.