Dawson speaks for ‘Week to End Violence’

Nick Lowrey

The Campus Women’s Coalition brought  speaker Mark Dawson to campus as part of the week to end violence on April 18.

Dawson was brought in as the keynote speaker for the The Week to End Violence now taking place at SDSU. The presentation entitled “Hookin’ Up and Gettin’ Some”, was not exactly about what the name evokes. It was in fact a discussion of how to date safely, get consent when needed and the facts about sexual assault.

The presentation began with an explanation of communication and a dispelling of myths surrounding gender roles in dating. Specifically Dawson addressed popular culture’s affect on how people act in intimate situations.

“We live in a gullible society,” he said, explaining that people often do things only because family, friends and the larger society tell them to. Dawson’s point was that people should communicate more clearly about their feelings toward potential partners.

“The main message is consent and getting consent and the people giving consent need to be clear too.” he said.

Dawson has spent the last 12 years becoming an expert on the issues revolving around dating, communication and sexual assault. His interest in the topic was sparked when his girlfriend at the time told him that she had been raped. Dawson was already a professional speaker, when he decided to take on the issues surrounding sexual assault.

SDSU student Jared Timmerman who was in the audience for extra credit said he was exposed to a few new ideas.

“In the beginning it was a lot of new stuff, the communication thing was a big one,” he said.

Libby Trammel the president of the SDSU Campus Women’s Coalition said that Bringing Dawson to campus was an effort to attract more men to the event.

“We thought by bringing (Dawson) to campus we would attract a different audience,” she said, “I think a lot of men, when it comes to this topic feel accused we didn’t want that.”

The Week to End Violence is sponsored by the SDSU Women’s Coalition and will continue through the end of the week. Thursday evening will feature  the Take Back the Night  event at 7:30 p.m. in the old fire hall downtown.