Nov 23rd, 2018, 03:23 PM

The Hunting Ground in Paris

By Leila Roker
AUP's take back the night, Image Credit: Jamie Nyqvist
Why AUP for Consent is more than just "the rape club."

After the #MeToo movement in the US, many institutions are re-developing. One of the first films that highlighted this need for reform is the Hunting Ground, released in 2015 about the creation of the organization End Rape On Campus by two girls fighting for students' rights. AUP for Consent will be screening this film and having thought-provoking conversation on November 27 in the Combes building.

This survivor-positive movement has reached across different countries and educational institutions and forced many students to question their structures. This revolution has also affected the American University of Paris. The club AUP for Consent is changing the conversation and even taking the university's expectations by storm, after its official school page three months ago. This wave has caused AUP to rethink how they go about sexual education.

   Image Credit: Unsplash/Nathan Dumlao

A city campus in Europe like the American University of Paris can pose a daunting transition for any student. Many students are adjusting to city life in a foreign country and are still familiarizing themselves with their resources. A critical resource for any student attending the university is the AUP for Consent club. Unlike the US, students in Europe do not have the same established American resources such as Know Your IX or It's On Us which are independent of universities, but AUP for consent is a club dedicated to finding survivors, or even people with benign questions and solutions.

This fall semester, AUP for Consent released a video, which was shown to all incoming freshman. Frances Eby, the president of AUP for Consent explained, "It was the brainchild of myself and the former members: Elizabeth McGee and Ellen Kitchens. We did Take Back The Night last Spring, and saw positive feedback, and decided to build on our momentum." Frances and her board members decided a video was the most effective way to communicate with the student body on a campus that's so diverse and spread out. She said, "We got people that weren't just American. We wanted different ethnicities and nationalities because we wanted a video that was representative of the community we're serving. We're a club that's here to listen to people and adapt according to what we hear."

(Pictured Above) Frances Eby, Image Credit: Jamie Nyqvist

Frances also credits the student advisors this year for being an integral part in the movement of consent education integrated into orientation. This year, the club has begun working in tandem with the administration to develop a more mandatory approach to sexual consent education. Kevin Fore, Dean of Student Development at AUP, noted "it's [cross-collaboration] often more effective and rewarding when we manage to pool our resources, even if they can sometimes be the most challenging!"

However, the video released this past fall is only the beginning of conversations that need to be had on campus. Vice President of AUP for Consent, Leonardo Tow said, "Unfortunately, the administration does not currently go through any formal consent education training. To my knowledge, students have never been required to go through any consent education themselves."

Frances Eby plans to create even more change for the next year, sharing "We were just green-lighted for our own section of orientation this coming year." Frances and Leo plan to have multiple events in the Spring and want the AUP community to know that they are a club open to everyone. "we're not just the rape club," Frances explains. "You can come to us for any questions and keep your anonymity. Even if you don't want to be seen at a meeting, you can email, and your identity will remain safe, and you'll receive an answer from myself or a member of the board."

If any of these critical resources and conversations spark your interest, come to AUP for Consent's next event on November 27 in Combes to watch the Hunting Ground and share your views or concerns.

Anonymous contributor at Take Back The Night, Image Credit: Jamie Nyqvist