There are so many questions about relationships, sexual intimacy, consent, bystander intervention and supporting survivors. It can feel overwhelming.
Critically acclaimed author and Date Safe Project founder, Mike Domitrz, will present an often-funny and candid look at dating, communication, respect and intimacy when he visits Georgian College Barrie Campus on Sept. 6 to present his talk, “Can I Kiss You?” He’ll share insights on consent, bystander intervention and how to support sexual assault survivors.
With a background in entertainment, Domitrz created the thought-provoking program that focuses on why “asking first” makes all the difference. Since 1990, the sought-after speaker has been motivating and igniting change around the world. He has been well received by students at postsecondary institutions across North America. This is his third time at Georgian.
Mackenzie Hulme, a second-year general business student, is looking forward to the presentation.
“I feel Georgian is a safe place to go to school and takes many different precautions to help us feel safe and supported,” she said. Hulme also works part-time, as a server, at the college student pub, The Last Class (TLC). “Sexual harassment and consent is taken very seriously at TLC and all staff members are trained on how to react, what to say, and how to support our customers. We have signs in both washrooms with instructions on what to do if you’re feeling unsafe due to a bad date or other circumstances. The signs give a name and you just walk up to the bar staff or any server and say the name. They will get you out of that situation and bring you to a manager who will ensure your safety. If it isn’t already, I think this should be in place in all establishments.”
Students can also download the Safe@Georgian app that provides quick access to campus security. The app has a personal safety toolbox, including a flashlight, loud alarm, campus maps, on-campus support resources and more.
“You can easily send your location and a photo to security staff by tapping a single button,” said Hulme.
Georgian is also home to many international students who are adjusting to a different culture and life miles away from their families.
“Things are a bit different where I’m from,” said Dan (Doreen) Liu, a second-year practical nursing student from China. “I had an experience a few years ago with a guy I met in a nightclub. We became friends, however, after a hanging out with him a few times, I had to stop seeing him because he was always trying to kiss me. I told him no and that there was no space to negotiate as kissing someone on the cheek is not in my culture.”
Liu added that she appreciates how both Georgian and her clinical placement employer, the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, care about her personal safety.
Can I Kiss You? runs from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. on Sept. 6 in the Georgian Theatre at the Barrie Campus and will be live streamed to the six other campuses. The event is free and open to everyone.
Photo: Mike Domitrz, Date Safe Project founder, visits Georgian College Barrie Campus on Sept. 6.