Engaging students in conversations about consent

For university campus culture to improve large numbers of students need to engage in meaningful conversations about consent. Some universities use mandatory training and workshop to do this, but we believed it was possible to showcase these conversations using an event that students would want to attend and tell their friends about.

Our solution

We created 'How to be good in bed', a game show where two teams compete for points through a series of rounds all of which cover themes relating to consent, gender, sexual harassment, sex and relationships. The gameshow format allowed for a fast-paced, playful, structured conversation that had room for both poignancy and comedy.

Each team included one of our own guest panellists of experts, performers and activist, ensuring that the show featured people who were experienced at talking about these issues and would bring an interesting angle or useful perspective from lived-experience. Each guest panellist was joined by a student from the university. These students were mostly Sabbatical Officers or Liberation Officers and ensured the show featured a wide range of diverse student voices that could speak about campaigns and initiatives that were happening on campus.

The format, the guests, the students, and the content were all ingredients to showcase meaningful, safe, engaging, student-centred conversations about consent and demonstrate that sexual harassment was something that could be talked about on campus.

The outcome

The first performances of 'How to be good in bed' took place at The University of Edinburgh as part of a week of events we were invited to deliver. Hundreds of students attended over three performances of the game show.

A far cry from the Sex-Ed lessons you received at school, the playfully titled ‘How to be good in bed’ event was set up as a gameshow, with activists and experts acting as the guests on the panel. The event explored issues around sex and consent in a candid, honest, and light-hearted way, with the guests sharing their own genuine anecdotes

Excerpt from an article about the gameshow in The Student

Six student leaders joined us on the show and had an opportunity to showcase the work and issues they cared about on campus. The gameshow attracted the attention of national press as well as being featured in The Student.

Since those first performances 'How to be good in bed' has been performed at other universities nationwide, Latitude Festival in Suffolk, and Komedia in Brighton. The gameshow is now recorded as a podcast and is available to all students and staff who are subscribers to Consent Collective TV.