Little Black Dress Doesn’t Mean Yes starts conversation on consent

The second Little Black Dress Doesn’t Mean Yes event will be held Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. in the Student Union. The event will feature guest speaker and YouTube star Laci Green from the Sex Plus series. The mission of Little Black Dress Doesn’t Mean Yes, according to organizer and USUAA Vice President Johanna Richter, is to promote sexual consent.

“It is an event that celebrates consent, and so this year what we are doing is a lecture and a mixer,” Richter said. “We’ll have a speaker come talk about consent and the importance of promoting a culture that protects the ability of all people to give consent. Then we also will have a mixer afterward were we will have some representatives from the community.”

Little Black Dress was first held last year, and the feedback Richter and other organizers got most about the event is that they wanted an informational component, and so Richter advocated to get Green to speak at the event.

“[Green] has a sex ed show on YouTube that is the most popular sex ed show on YouTube,” Richter said. “She’s a pretty famous speaker, she speaks at campuses across the nation including Ivy Leagues and big name private schools. We are pretty excited to have somebody of her caliber up here.”

Richter thinks it will be beneficial to have someone well known in the realm of sexual education lead the lecture.

“I think having an event about sexual assault, is you want to have something that will attract people to the event without making them feel unsafe or uncomfortable, and Laci Green, as I said before has one of the most watched programs on YouTube about sexual health,” Richter said. “We really wanted to bring somebody here who we thought was really good at talking about these issues in a way that young people could relate to and in a way that’s not off-putting to them.”

Lyndea Kelleher, vice president of membership education at Alpha Sigma Alpha, attended the event last year with her sorority sisters, and she said the event had a positive impact at Alpha Sigma Alpha.

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“It is something that we talk a lot about, how going to this event helped our members be able to bring up issues, it helped with being able to just talk about things,” Kelleher said. “In the mixer you kind of talk about healthy sexuality. So it opened the conversation for us a lot and made it less of a taboo to speak about…. And it opened doors I think. It made it more concrete, and a little less hush, hush. It wasn’t weird, it wasn’t awkward it was just like, hey this is a thing that happens and we don’t want that to happen, so let’s learn about ways that prevent that and talk about ownership of your body and kind of the steps that you should take to feel comfortable when you go out.”

This year, Alpha Sigma Alpha is attending the event as well as co-sponsoring it. Kelleher thinks healthy conversations about consent are good for everyone at UAA, her sorority sisters included.

“I think it is really important that sorority women especially speak out about how a woman’s body is her own and that no one can make decisions for her and that it doesn’t matter what she’s wearing, if she’s going to a Frat party, it does not give anyone else the right to put their hands on her body or make her decisions for her in any way that may make her uncomfortable despite how she’s dressed,” Kelleher said.

Last year both sororities and some of the fraternities attended Little Black Dress, and the event being held again this year allows people who missed it last year to come. Alex Jorgensen, political science major, is attending this year.

“I think it’s going to be a really fun event, but more importantly the purpose or the goal behind the event is a really noble cause — to spread awareness about consent,” Jorgensen said. “I think sexual assault impacts everyone. I know someone who was sexually assaulted and this shouldn’t exist. It’s a problem we shouldn’t be working to solve because it is a problem that we can easily solve by teaching people that this is not acceptable behavior.”

The lecture with Green starts at 7 p.m. and there will be free food at the mixer. The recommended dress attire is black dress, black tie.