Like many other campuses across the nation, Rochester Institute of Technology began the new school year with a presentation to incoming freshmen about preventing sexual assault and rape on campus - which would be all well and good, except for when things took a not-so-great turn when the presentation encouraged students to masturbate to prevent sexual assault.
The Cut reports that during the presentation, which was called "Alcohol and Chill" and given to 2,800 members of the freshman class at orientation, students were told to imagine consent as a traffic light. If they got a red light, a.k.a. a "no" from their partner, they were told to stop and R.O.O. meaning, "rub one out." Yikes.
Holy fuck, apparently my college revamped their freshman orientation to teach about how to not rape. I just, holy fuck pic.twitter.com/kp7iDnvLnD
— Peachum (@BunLordPeachum) August 24, 2017
Obviously, people were not happy when the presenter reportedly told them, "Self-gratification can prevent sexual assault." (Which is basically a gross oversimplification of a very complex issue.) Not to mention that the slide makes light of what to do when someone withdraws consent, instead of giving freshmen actual advice for how to handle such a situation - especially when we know that sexual assualt often isn't about sex at all, but power.
"It made me very scared to say that I have experienced sexual assault," one female student who chose not to be identified told The Cut. "Because now I get the impression that people on campus think it is a joke. I am concerned that if I ran into an issue like that again, or want to talk about my previous experience that it wouldn't be treated as a serious issue by administrators."
Meanwhile, RIT president David Munson has since issued an apology for the presentation, saying in a statement, "We apologize to anyone who was offended by a slide that was included in our new student orientation. While we are committed to having open and frank conversations on these important topics, we pledge to take such sensitivities into account in any future programs."