Fanshawe collaborates on positive St. Paddy's Day tees

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: JORDAN CROW
Fanshawe's sexual violence prevention advisor teamed up with the fashion marketing and management program on creating positive and consent based T-Shirts for St. Patrick's Day

Fanshawe's sexual violence prevention advisor and the college's fashion marketing and management program teamed up in making and selling “punny” St. Patrick's Day T-shirts promoting consent.

The messages or slogans on these T-shirts take the traditional St. Patrick's Day messages that can be sexualized and based in rape culture such as “kiss me” and rather turn them into part of the conversation when it comes to sexual acts.

Some of the messages have been flipped to say things such as “Ask to Kiss me I'm Irish” or “Leave no Leprechaun Behind” or “You Can't Get Lucky Without Consent”

These shirts were sold in front of the fashion marketing and management's campus boutique, Live Chic from March 12 to March 15.

On Friday March 16, there was a St. Patrick's Day both set up in front of Oasis from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. where the shirts were also sold. Students also had the chance to participate in games to win prizes, while St. Patrick's Day swag were also available for free.

Some deals include a package of a T-shirt, socks, bandana and beads for $15, a $20 value, while the T-shirts alone were $12. Socks were $5, bandana's $2 and beads were $1. The proceeds from the sales of these shirt's and other St. Patrick's Day merchandise went to the Children's Health Foundation in London.

“It's important to challenge some of the traditional messaging that we see around these holidays because every person has the right to decide what sexual contact they want and don't want,” Fanshawe's sexual violence prevention advisor, Leah Marshall, said. “So we want to empower students to know that you can have a safe sex positive environment that includes having taking those rape culture messages and turning them upside down and saying that we don't want those on our campus. As we work towards a campus that is free from sexual violence and safe for all students.”

The last couple years around St. Patrick's Day, leading up to the day of and even on the day, depending on if the holiday landed on a school day, the student life facilitator along with Marshall the student union departments have partnered with residents, going door to door, to offer awareness on how to party safely and how they are going to use bystander intervention when they see something that doesn't particularly feel right to them. These conversations with students are talking about harm reductions and consent.

“Because of our history with St. Patrick's Day and also [the] statistics shared with us, were a bit shocking we also have a very female driven program so one of the stats was I think that one in four women could be sexually assaulted in their academic years of college or university,” Linda Jenken, a professor from the fashion marketing and management program, said. “To think it was quite staggering to all of us so we feel we are giving a positive message and that's something good to hear from the students not just faculty or support staff.”

If there are any students looking for support if they've experienced sexual violence or any kind of intimate violence, students can confidentially contact Leah Marshall through email at lkmarshall@fanshawec.ca or by phone at (519)- 452-4465.