On Monday, October 14th, Mike Domitrz presented before 1,200 Greek Students a twist on how to approach dating, relationships, and most importantly, sexual assault awareness. Domitrz drew inspiration to begin the “Date Safe Project” following the sexual assault that his sister survived in 1989. Throughout the evening, students in attendance were encouraged to be engaged, whether answering a question from the back of the auditorium or coming on stage to perform how they would go about answering the key question of the night: Can I Kiss You?
Not often does the question of “Can I Kiss You?” occur when out on a date whether it is with someone you are in a relationship with or have just met. When the crowd was asked “Why do you not ask your partner for a kiss?” there were two answers that were recurring: how awkward it would be in that moment or for the fear of rejection. This is how our society has been and will continue to be, but if we begin to look at it from Domitrz’s perspective, change will happen. If we hesitate to ask the four word question for the fear of awkwardness or rejection, then we are not thinking about our partner and how it could make them feel uncomfortable. Pop that four word question and leave the date on a positive note of mutual respect whether or not the kiss takes place, and as Domitrz put it “if someone is actually into you they will not care if you ask!”
Domitrz went far beyond the topic of kissing, the topic that most are very uncomfortable talking about, sexual assault. Fortunate for CSU students, we have resources all over campus in order to make us aware of sexual assault; however these resources are not with students when they are out at a party or the bars. When you do not interfere with a friend or anyone that is taking advantage of someone intoxicated, you are choosing to let sexual assault occur. We all know the law, when someone is intoxicated they cannot legally give consent, but that does not stop what many deem simply as “drunk hookups” from happening. We all have zero problems not allowing a friend to drive after drinking, but often times this same attitude does not transmit to preventing a possible assault from occurring.
The attentive crowd of Greeks in attendance was in agreement with all topics, including the stereotype of being the students hosting the parties involving alcohol and the perception of sexual assaults occurring. The LincolnCenter without an empty seat, responded in cheers, clapping and snapping when Domitrz addressed this. Josh Pawley of Alpha Sigma Phi and the founder of True Man Coalition is most excited about the mindset that Domitrz put into all students in attendance. “So often we have a traditional mindset and it is time to get out of it. He presented a progressive mindset that our Greek Community can propagate throughout the entire community and promote a positive impact.” Lauren Albin of Zeta Tau Alpha felt that “Mike truly spoke to everyone in the crowd, and it became apparent when one woman was brave enough to stand in front of us all and share that she was a survivor of sexual assault. As each person in the crowd began to stand and applaud her, it really showed how much of a difference one person can make.”
My final word is to not be quick to stereotype someone you see in letters on our campus, odds are they were in attendance learning this new mindset to spread to everyone. The new twist which Mike Domitrz presented through the “Date Safe Project” was the most effective sexual assault awareness campaign I have been in attendance for. Every student left the Lincoln Center ready to not only further prevent sexual assault, but to help the strong survivors present in the CSU community continue with their lives. Together we can all prevent and together we can all survive.