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Workshop Explores Date Rape Scenario

By Eva Moy
Staff Reporter

Last night Wendy went to a fraternity party, was offered and consumed a lot of alcohol, and had unprotected sex with Raj, whom she had met at the party. But the next morning, Wendy and Raj had different accounts of what had happened.

This scenario (hopefully) did not really happen last night, but was part of a Medlinks-sponsored workshop entitled "When Is It Love?" held yesterday afternoon in 10-250 as part of Residence and Orientation Week activities.

The workshop was led by Up Front, a subgroup of Medlinks, a student group that publicizes health and medical issues to the MIT community.

After a performance of the scenario described above, audience members were encouraged to ask Wendy (played by Jamie H. Rosenblum '96) and Raj (Brian A. Zabel '97) questions.

While Wendy blamed herself and promised to never drink again, Raj never thought that he did anything wrong. "She was out for a good time, and I showed her a good time," Raj said.

On the other hand, Wendy swore off parties and alcohol, didn't want to tell any of her friends, and just wanted to forget the whole situation. "I don't know how to tell if a guy is going to be a jerk" in the future, Wendy said.

Emphasizes communication

The point of the workshop was to get students to talk about and question, "Is that the way I want to be in a relationship?" said Tracy A. Desovich, a health educator for MITMedical who runs the Medlinks program.

Lynn Roberson, staff assistant in the Office for Counseling and Support Services, also emphasized the importance of good communication and also trusting your own instincts.

People have difficulty identifying with rape, and society tells women to put up with certain behavior, Roberson said.

"Talking about it would help more than it would hurt in most situations," said one of the 30 members of the audience.

It was "helpful to know the safety information," especially coming from a small town, said Irene Kim '99 who attended the session.

Roberson and Desovich also provided information about resources at MIT, including the Dean's Office, Medical Center, and Campus Police. They suggested that students be familiar with self defense techniques, like the Rape Aggression Defense classes offered through the physical education program.

Up Front also presented three workshops for the international students' orientation last week.