The Things we “donut” talk about are the things that should come to the light.


Tassy Payne

Students listening to Dowling speak about the things not talked about.

Tassy Payne

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  • Assistant Director Audra Dowling talking to students about sexual assault and mental health.

  • Students listening to Dowling speak about the things not talked about.

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September 14, Audra Dowling, Assistant Director of IU Southeast’s Office of Residence Life and Housing had a discussion with students about the things not talked about. The topics of this discussion were sexual assault and mental health.

Imagine a group of college students that sat on a couch and watched a video on YouTube. But they didn’t just watch any video. They watched Blue Seat Studio’s Tea and Consent.

As the narrator Graham Wheeler spoke in the video, he compared how if someone said they didn’t want a cup of tea, don’t make them drink tea. Then he said, it’s the same with sex.

“Whether it’s tea or sex, consent is everything,” Wheeler said.

Dowling explained Indiana University’s definition of consent to the students.

Consent is agreement or permission expressed through affirmative, voluntary words or actions that are mutually understandable to all parties involved.

  • Consent is given for a specific sexual act at a specific time and can be withdrawn at any time.
  • Consent cannot be coerced or compelled by duress, threat, or force.
  • Consent cannot be given by someone who, for any reason, cannot understand the facts, nature, extent, or implications of the sexual situation occurring, including, but not limited to, those who are under the legal age of consent, asleep, unconscious, mentally or physically impaired through the effects of drugs or alcohol, or mentally impaired due to an intellectual or other disability.
  • Consent cannot be assumed based on silence, the absence of “no” or “stop,” the existence of a prior or current relationship, or prior sexual activity.

Dowling then explained what Indiana’s Lifeline Law was.

If you or someone else is in trouble, call 911, even if you are intoxicated. Under the Indiana Lifeline Law, minors are protected from legal consequences during an alcohol-related and/or substance-related emergency.

Lindsey Phan, nursing freshman, said that she thought the discussion was very helpful and that it should have been open to everybody living on campus.

Dan Fredrick, philosophy freshman said that he thought the video was funny but touching on a very important issue.  

“I thought it was presented in a delightful but serious manner,” he said.

Fredrick said that the discussion really covered sexual assault and consent, not mental health.

He said that if there were to be another discussion, the mental health discussion should be done the same way as this one.

Secondary education freshman Jacob Christopher thought overall, the discussion was interesting. Although, he said he didn’t learn much from it.

“I went to a Lutheran high school in Seymour, Indiana,” he said. “Where I came from it was covered pretty well and I knew majority of it.”                                                                                                                          

Dowling then passed out bracelets that said #IUStrong T.M.A.Y.D.

Tell Me About Your Day (T.M.A.Y.D.) was a campaign that originally started at Massachussetts Insitute of Technology (MIT) by Isabel Lloyd. This phrase has spread nationally. And now IU Southeast has picked up on it and is wanting to use as part of the campaign alongside of #IUStrong for sexual assault and mental health awareness.

Dowling said that she thinks that T.M.A.Y.D. will give the assistance needed to stay happy and healthy in college.