Swinburne students are leading a Be a Better Human campaign to promote consent and respectful behaviour.
The campaign was started by students at Flinders University in Adelaide, in response to the National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities. Swinburne is the first university in Victoria to launch their own campaign and other major universities are following suit.
Swinburne’s campaign began with Be a Better Human Day held at the Hawthorn campus on Wednesday 27 March.
The initial Be a Better Human Day sparked honest and open discussions around sexual assault, consent, bystander behaviour, safe sex and reproductive health.
The Student Union plans to hold similar events at Croydon and Wantirna campuses and will continue to raise awareness about the campaign throughout the year.
Swinburne Student Union Welfare Officer, Fergus Clancy, says: “The Be a Better Human campaign raises awareness around sexual assault and invites students to actually become part of the constructive conversation. It gives students a chance to learn, listen and have input on how we can all help make a positive impact.”
Student volunteers underwent a consent training module and passed on their knowledge to fellow students throughout Be a Better Human Day.
As part of the launch, students were invited to participate in an interactive game illustrating sexual consent. Participants who demonstrated an understanding of the consent principles freely-given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic and specific (FRIES) were rewarded with free fries.
Lawn games, free food, wellbeing giveaways, health exhibits and a relaxed friendly atmosphere provided a safe space, encouraging discussion and support for students from Swinburne’s H-Squad and Safer Community teams.
Be a Better Human is linked to the wider Respect.Now.Always campaign that was rolled in 2017 to prevent sexual assault and harassment.
For advice and support if you, or someone you know at Swinburne, is affected by inappropriate, concerning or threatening behaviour, contact Safer Community by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or online at swinburne.edu.au/safercommunity