On Tuesday Oct. 10, Senior Alex Kellogg asked passersby how they defined respect, challenging them to write their definitions down on paper — this is one of the many jobs of a Dare to Care peer educator. Kellogg expressed that the engagement involved in Talk About It Tuesday is crucial to bringing awareness to issues regarding sexual assault and lack of consent and/or respect, both of which peer educators aim to mitigate.
“We know that sexual assault is still happening and part of that is because the people who need to be having these conversations are not having them,” Kellogg said. “That’s why we have so many different platforms for starting conversations — because we want to see what works.”
Dare to Care peer educators are employed at the end of each school year to conduct consent workshops for first-year students throughout orientation week, yet their work extends to involve the whole campus for the remainder of each year. Having a mission to promote healthy relationships with a particular emphasis on sexual assault prevention, one of the responsibilities of the educators is to table in Seymour Gallery for Talk About It Tuesday every week during each term. Topics in the past weeks have included unhealthy relationships and self care. Last week, junior Kira Carney collected slips detailing what students do for self care, which the Dare to Care team will eventually make into posters to hang around campus. Carney shared that Dare to Care educators also sit at the first table in the cafeteria each Thursday from 5 to 7:30p.m. for Table Talk, in which students are welcomed to inquire about topics they don’t know much about or share questions, comments and suggestions for better ways to engage the campus.
“Basically [we’re] getting Knox students involved in talking about these subjects rather than not,” Carney said. “If they have questions, this is an opportunity for them to ask and not be embarrassed for not knowing because we’re here and we’ve been trained to talk about this stuff.”
“[Sexual assault] is not one of the topics specifically, but because we’re discussing issues of identity and underrepresented identity [during Day of Dialogue] and because members of underrepresented groups are more likely to experience sexual assaults unfortunately, I would definitely imagine this would blend into the conversations,” Kellogg said.
With the Day of Dialogue taking place Wednesday, Oct. 17, Talk About It Tuesday provides a gentle ease into holding complex conversations among peers. While there is no direct link between the two events, educator Kellogg believes that the past Tuesdays have been a useful precursor for Day of Dialogue.