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Sexual Respect Awareness Week

Read about Sexual Respect Awareness Week and hear from Mary Signor about the event’s significance on campus

Oct 5, 2019

In collaboration with NYU Abu Dhabi’s peer support program — REACH — the Health Promotion Office is organizing Sexual Respect Awareness Week from Oct. 6 to Oct. 10 on campus.
“Sexual Respect Awareness Week is an initiative that aims to raise awareness and educate communities and individuals on how to promote sexual respect, provides safe spaces for dialogue and discourse and to highlight available resources and supports,” said Tina Wadhwa, associate director of Health Promotion and Sexual Misconduct Support.
Throughout the week students can participate in a wide range of activities like consent dialogues, self-defense workshops and Denim Day, not just to learn about sexual respect, but also to show their support for the victims of sexual misconduct. The HPO also carried out tablings in the Campus East Dining Hall in the past week to discuss various issues of consent, and to provide students with information about Sexual Respect Awareness Week.
“The main goal of our tabling initiatives was to promote sexual respect awareness on campus through multiple games and short activities,” stated Siya Chandrie, Class of 2021 and an HPO student assistant. “The point of the tablings was that students could have a short one-on-one conversation with us regarding subjects like consent and Title IX policies and learn about something they were not aware of or just something they wanted to clarify.”
“In the past, the HPO hosted this initiative in April, however, we moved it to October to build a shared understanding and create broader awareness about this important topic earlier in the academic year,” informed Wadhwa.
Sexual Respect Awareness Week was also preceded by mandatory Consent Zone Trainings that the HPO conducted between Sept. 22 and Oct. 2 for the Class of 2022 and 2020. Additionally, NYU Global Title IX Coordinator Mary Signor took time to visit NYUAD. Signor’s own ‘Student Town Hall’, facilitated by the Student Government, served as a great way to start talking about Sexual Respect Awareness Week this year.
“My visit to NYU Abu Dhabi is an extremely important and vital part of my role as the university's Global Title IX Coordinator,” said Signor. “It's an opportunity for me to hear from the students how the university can better serve them and for me to provide clarity and understanding about the university's Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking Policy, our procedures and our resources,” she continued.
Sexual Respect Awareness Week aims to normalize consent by educating the campus community, especially students, that come from such different cultural contexts on the basics of sexual consent and respectful interactions with those around them.
“This information is important for our community members, especially since they frequently travel across the global network and this knowledge can be important wherever they may happen to be,” added Wadhwa.
“We often hear about the most extreme cases of non-consensual behavior — like sexual assault or rape — which are huge problems on college campuses, but in addition to that [this initiative] shows our community members that consent should be applied to almost every kind of interaction,whether it’s a hug or a sexual interaction,” said Chandrie. “It raises awareness about what can make people uncomfortable and how you should ask for consent.”
Aasna Sijapati is News Editor. Email her at
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