Just because I'm Irish doesn't mean you can kiss me

Consent still applies on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that was intended to celebrate Irish culture and somehow evolved into celebrating the stereotype of the drunken Irishman. For many students, St. Patrick’s Day is an excuse to wear all the green clothes in their closet and to get plastered by noon on a weekday.

One concern that arises with the incoming holiday is the issue of consent. Leah Marshall, the sexual violence prevention advisor at Fanshawe, launched a St. Patrick’s Day themed awareness campaign to drive home the fact that consent is still required, even on a holiday devoted to drunken rowdiness.

The campaign, You Can’t Get Lucky Without Consent, is a continuation of Marshall’s goal to host at least one awareness event every month. This event is a partnership with the student life facilitator and the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU).

“St. Patrick’s Day is a day where we see a lot of shirts and slogans that actually put forward messages that can be considered rape culture,” Marshall said. “We’re trying to put this different spin on things this year, and we’d like to see a message going out to the college about consent culture.”

Infamous St. Patrick’s Day taglines like, “Kiss me, I’m Irish” or the tradition to pinch anyone not wearing green are examples of sayings and behaviours that Marshall is trying to prevent.

Marshall is running more than just an awareness campaign. She has also organized a scavenger hunt event to engage students and to educate them on

“Students will have to follow the clues which will take them around campus so they’ll know what’s available to them if they run into any [problems],” Marshall said. She added that the clues will take the students inside the services and they’ll have to answer some questions.

Free consent-themed swag is available for those who complete the scavenger hunt, along with other prizes including taxi vouchers so students can get home safely.

“Just because it’s a special holiday for some people and a day that a lot of students end up doing some celebrating doesn’t mean that consent messaging shouldn’t be ringing even clearer that day and should be at the forefront of anything that goes on,” Marshall said.

The campaign will be hosted in Forwell Hall from 12 to 2 p.m. Food will be available along with Irish and Celtic music.