Students waive copyright of consent campaign to drive national action against rape culture

A sexual consent campaign developed by students, for students is set to roll out nationally and internationally thanks to a decision to waive copyright over the content and make it freely available.

The ‘Be A Better Human’ campaign was created by Flinders University students following last year’s Australian Human Rights Commission report on sexual assault and harassment on university campuses.

The campaign is built around a comprehensive toolkit to empower students to own their behaviour and shape their community into one that is safe, respectful and inclusive. The kit includes a handbook which discusses affirmative consent – what it means, how to identify it and what to do if there’s no consent – be it in real life or in the digital realm.

The Flinders University Student Association (FUSA) with the support of Flinders University, have waived copyright over the materials to ensure that they are freely available to student organisations across Australia and internationally.

With August 1 marking the first anniversary of the AHRC report, FUSA President Ashley Sutherland says the aim of the campaign is to drive change that benefits students everywhere by encouraging students to reflect on consent, respect and empathy.

“We want to build ‘Be a Better Human’ into a campaign that grows with the collective input of students around Australia, and internationally. There’s still more we can do, and cover together” Ms Sutherland says.

The University of South Australia Student Association (USASA) and Adelaide University Union (AUU) have agreed to utilise the campaign, making ‘Be a Better Human’ a state-wide movement.

Other student organisations across the nation such as the Australian National University Students’ Association (ANUSA), Newcastle University Students’ Association (NUSA), Curtin Student Guild, University of Western Australia Student Guild, and Edith Cowan University Guild will also be supporting the campaign and adapting its content to their respective environments.

“Be a Better Human is an incredible initiative. The choice to make it open source so that student organisations across the country can make a unified effort to change the culture at our campuses is deeply appreciated” UWA Guild President Megan Lee says.

“Campaigns like this are what the student union movement is about. Students across the country, working together to achieve the best outcomes on our campuses. NUS proudly endorses this campaign and will do our best to get campuses involved” – National Union of Students (NUS) Women’s Officer, Kate Crossin.

“This is a really positive grassroots student-led initiative which EROC thoroughly endorses” ­­­­­– End Rape on Campus Australia (EROC).

‘Be a Better Human’ has international potential, with Project Consent showing support and colleges in the United States expressing interest. Content such as the handbook and videos have been produced to accomodate international involvement.

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