Penn State

On Centre | Penn State: Avoiding the dark side of romance

You might go to college to get an education, but for many — OK, maybe even most — the social aspect of the college years is an important part of the experience.

You want to meet new people. You want to have fun. You want to fall in love, maybe a couple of times. You might even meet “the one,” that happily-ever-after person.

But there is a dark side to college romance. Sometimes, it’s not so romantic.

There are parties with way too many red plastic cups and that lead to poor choices in countless ways. There are people out of their comfort zones, or out of their depth. And there are people who do things they know they shouldn’t, people who get violent and people who get hurt.

In a world where sexual violence on college campuses is a hot topic from the White House to Old Main, Penn State is meeting it head on by bringing in Date Safe Project expert Mike Domitrz to talk about issues of consent and how to get involved with someone in a safe and healthy way.

“Can I Kiss You?” Is more than just a shy question. It is the title of the program Domitrz will present at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Heritage Hall in the HUB.

The goal is to address the problems from different sides. It isn’t just cautioning girls about how to be safe. It teaches how to ask for consent before getting close. It looks at how to step in if you see alcohol being used to break down the ability to give that consent. It gives a way to be there for someone struggling afterward.

Everyone thinks, “It won’t happen to me,” but it will happen to someone — a friend, a partner, somebody at the party Saturday night or living down the hall. Having the tools to help is always a good idea.