Senator Haley Garland requested funding for the purchase of pro-consent reusable cups in order to curb sexual assault on game days during the Undergraduate Student Government meeting Tuesday.
Garland’s proposal referenced a study that found football games increased the rate of reported sexual assaults by 41% on home game days for victims ages 17 to 24. According to the study, this increase is due to heightened alcohol consumption at tailgates.
Garland was inspired by the study and proposed the project, which would allow for the purchase of 800 reusable cups with consent friendly slogans such as “consent is sexy” to be distributed at tailgates on game days. She considers this as a small step toward getting students to think about consent.
“I thought maybe a small way to kind of institute or to make people think about sexual assault about consent, during game days reserves, and increase of alcohol is putting a pro-consent statement on the cups,” Garland said. “Something essentially that would bring people back to being respectable human beings.”
Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention and Services also created solo cups with pro-consent sayings last year, but were unable to distribute them to students due to restrictions related to USC departments handing out materials used for alcohol consumption.
USG President Trenton Stone supports the project as an important way to educate students.
“We have things like bystander training, we have consent workshops, all the work that RSVP does with the group called ‘VOICE’ and things like that,” Stone said. “But a lot of those are separate and housed in, the health center, and a lot of students don’t actively seek that out.”
Stone also believes that distributing the pro-consent cups will help involve students in discussions concerning sexual assault.
“I think it’s a great way to basically start a grassroots movement around consent and around healthy relationships,” Stone said.
Sen. Ben Rosenthal raised concerns during the meeting as to how to equally distribute the cups to tailgates on game days. Garland said the cups would be equally divided among fraternity tailgates.
Sen. Omar Garcia also questioned the effectiveness of the project.
“How would we measure success?” Garcia asked.
Garland said the cups is a small part of a larger conversation about sexual assault on campus. She also acknowledged the sustainability issue and decided on reusable cups. She is also open to biodegradable paper cups.
Voting to approve funding on the project will occur at next Tuesday’s USG meeting.