The phrase, part of a new campaign during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, is to bring awareness to sexual assault and the use of date rape drugs.
Bonnie Wilson, Women in Science and Engineering coordinator, said a student on campus who was sexually assaulted after being given a date rape drug inspired the campaign.
Wilson said the girl was at a party where alcohol was served and started to feel sick.
“She went back to her dorm,” Wilson said. “Someone followed her, and she was assaulted. It’s been tough for her and on her family, so this kind of evolved out of that as a way for them wanting to prevent other people from suffering the same thing.”
Nick Goudreau, junior in human resource management, first became involved in SAAM last year through his fraternity, Alpha Kappa Lambda, whose philanthropy is “These Hands Don’t Hurt.” It is another campaign through SAAM that took place on the Concourse Monday through Wednesday.
“I got called and asked if I’d be interested in helping with just that one event,” Goudreau said. “Then I ended up staying an extra year and taking on a different event.”
Goudreau said the primary message of the new campaign is for people to watch their drinks in a social setting.
“It happens at the bars—even here all the time—that people are getting drugged in their drinks,” he said.
Kristy Malone, diversity initiatives coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center, said there are informational fliers in bars downtown with the “Keep a Lid on It” logo, and select bars will have hand stamps to raise awareness as well.
The catchphrase of the campaign is “Watch Your Drink, Watch Your Safety.”
Malone said one example is when women take pictures, they typically put their drinks behind them. She said that’s an opportunity for something to happen.
“When you take a picture, put your drink on the table in front of you, not behind you,” Malone said. “Just put it somewhere where you can see it.”
Malone said there are a variety of reasons some women choose not to report an assault, including self-blame.
“A lot of times drinking is involved and the survivor of the assault may or not be of legal drinking age, which a lot of people don’t realize that if you report a sexual assault to the police, the police aren’t going to focus on the drinking issue,” Malone said. “Their focus is that you were the victim of a crime.”
In addition, she said sometimes there is self-blame if alcohol was involved because flirting may have occurred and certain actions were consented to, but others were not.
Consent, Malone said, is an area of mystery for some.
“Consent basically means you have to verbally ask your partner, ‘Would you like to have sex?’” Malone said. “And it needs to be an ongoing, verbally communicated process.”
She emphasized it needs to be a sober “yes,” because the law states a drunk person cannot legally consent to sex.
“So you’re putting yourself at risk for committing a crime if you have sex with a (person) who is drunk,” Malone said.