The issue of rape and sexual assault will be the subject of an improvisational performance at the University of South Dakota in Farber Hall on Monday Feb. 6 at 7 p.m.
Sex Signals is a Chicago-based group that combines improvisational comedy, education and audience participation to provide a provocative, in-your-face look at issues surrounding dating, sex and date-rape on college campuses.
Assistant Director of Student Services Carly Heard said Sex Signals is the no. 1 program in the country right now in this field.
“They’ve actually been speaker of the year for many years now with these activities,” Heard said.
There will be a male and a female who will act out situations that would happen in real life in a comical way to present an educational point about what should and should not happen in dating situations, Heard said.
“The presentation will point out how social pressures and false preconceptions about the other sex contribute to the tensions about dating and what can happen in the dating world,” Heard said.
Freshman Rhianne Ammenn said it will be interesting how Sex Signals presents the show.
“People should be aware of the issue, but it’s not really funny to joke about rape or sexual assault,” Ammenn said. “Some people have been sexually assaulted, so if they take it too lightly it might offend some people.”
The issue of sexual assault is a really big issues on a lot of campuses right now, Heard said.
“We thought it would be a great educational opportunity to talk about a serious issue but have it be entertaining at the same time,” Heard said. “It’s something that we haven’t had on campus at all in the last few years so we thought it would be a great opportunity for students whether they’re first year students or seniors to get this experience to see the show.”
Freshman Lindsey Goodalle said college students tend to pay more attention to something that is comedic and is looking forward to the presentation because sexual assault is something she thinks about.
“With everybody drinking, it’s scary to think about,” Goodalle said. “You hope it wouldn’t happen but you never know. It needs to have light shed on it. Some people don’t take it as seriously just because we’re from a small town, but it still does happen.”
Heard said she wants people who attend to be entertained, but the point of the presentation is to open up the door and break down the barrier of situations that lead to sexual assault and the problems.
“That’s why Sex Signals is such a great program,” Heard said. “It’s not so intimidating because they won’t have somebody standing up in front of them lecturing you about sexual assault and what you should and should not do. They think the way students think in these situations.”
Ammenn said she is considering going to the presentation because sexual assault is a problem on college campuses.
“It’s definitely something I’m thinking about going to,” Ammenn said. “Sometimes if you’re walking back at night you obviously have to be cautious about your surroundings. My mom has always warned me about watching out around yourself and to never put your drink down.”
Although the show does have a comedic element to it, Heard said anyone attending has to realize the presentation is on a serious subject.
“There’s going to be things that they talk about that aren’t going to be the most comfortable things to hear people talk about or act out,” Heard said. “Be prepared if you do go that they will be talking about sensitive situations. That is why the event is going to be taking place in Farber Hall and not something bigger like Aalfs or the MUC. It needs to be a smaller, more intimate crowd because of the subject matter that they’re discussing.”
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