Cal Poly’s annual Week of Welcome orientation this year will offer a presentation on the distinction between rape and drunken sex, in response to three highly publicized alleged sexual assault cases this year.
The presentation by Brett Sokolow, managing partner of the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, was planned in response to the two sexual assault reports on campus and a third at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house near campus this spring.
Sokolow’s presentation comes amid a variety of educational programs and activities for new students during the weeklong orientation from Wednesday to Sept. 18.
The presentation titled Drunk Sex or Date Rape: Can You Tell the Difference? will emphasize personal safety and smart decision-making.
Each of the reported assaults involved an alleged rape of an unconscious woman.
No criminal charges were filed after law enforcement investigations, but the incidents sparked concern in the Cal Poly community about alcohol consumption and sexual assault.
“We want to make sure students know what the legal lines are when it comes to drunken sex,” said Jason Mockford, Cal Poly’s assistant coordinator of Student Life and Leadership. “That involves explaining what sexual assault is and what it isn’t.”
This year’s WOW program also includes education on personal choices, respect and diversity, and getting involved in the community.
The diversity education will set the expectation that San Luis Obispo and the campus is a community of acceptance of all people, Mockford said.
Other events include the annual SLO Bound visit to local businesses throughout San Luis Obispo and a WOW Community Service event in which students volunteer at various locations throughout the county.
“We’ll let them know they have a responsibility to uphold neighborly civility, serve their community, and behave appropriately,” Mockford said.
For more information about WOW, go to the website http://orientation.calpoly.edu/wow.