Western Kentucky University hosted the 38th annual meeting for the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender on October 1-4, 2015. Activities and sessions were held at the Hyatt Place Hotel and the Augenstein Alumni Center in Bowling Green, Kentucky where 150 members and attendees participated. This purpose of this meeting was focused around Communication and Sexuality. Sessions included topics such as sexual assault, gender identity, culture, feminism, health communication, and much more.
On Thursday, October 1st, 2015, roughly 20 members and attendees participated in the first session of the conference – Sexual Assault and Safety hosted by chair, Ms. Jeanine Minge, Cupola 1 at the Hyatt Place Hotel. First, Dr. Diana K. Ivy from Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi, addressed the importance of “College students’ sexual safety: The verbal and nonverbal communication of consent.” Dr. Ivy first addressed consent (i.e., what is consent?). The session soon transferred into a roundtable discussion with participants and Dr. Ivy. It is no surprise that most individuals find it difficult to discuss sexuality and/or sexual assault. Ms. Elizabeth Madariaga, the Western Kentucky University director of sexual assault services, briefly discussed Title IX policies and other efforts made by the university to prevent sexual assault/misconduct on campus and for WKU students in general. Attendees and members in the discussion reviewed Texas Tech University’s effort to ease communication about sexual assault and safety through the use of Defineyourline.org where students can submit questions/answers on the issue. Dr. Ivy is concerned with the role communication and education plays on university campuses.
The first session set the stage for the rest of the conference, which was highlighted by dynamic panels on sexuality, same-sex marriage, reproductive politics, and sexual assault and prevention.