Princeton issues guidelines for ‘Consent on the Dance Floor’
Princeton University wants to ensure that students know how to ask each other to dance, and so recently issued instructions for obtaining “consent on the dance floor.”
The guidelines came in the form of a Facebook post shared by Princeton’s Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources, & Education (SHARE) office and created by the school’s UMatter initiative in anticipation of the annual Orange and Black Ball (OBB) that took place last Friday.
“Going to OBB this Friday? Planning to have a great time tearing up the dance floor with your friends?” the post asks. “Great! Check out some tips about what consent on the dance floor looks like!! #OBB #RespectMatters #ConsentIsCool #DoYouWannaDance?”
The post indicates that “Do you wanna dance?” is an appropriate opening, and that responses such as “Absolutely!,” “Yeah! Let’s do it!,” and “I’d love to!” are all ways of consenting to the question.
Beyond simply “asking & waiting for an answer,” the post also asserts that “frequently checking in with your dance partner” is required in order to maintain consent until the music stops, suggesting that the person who extended the invite periodically ask “Hey, are you still into this?” and volunteer that “We can stop if you aren’t.”
Asked for clarification, a university spokesperson told Campus Reform that the infographic, which was “created by a student in the U-Matter program, is one in a series of reminders and opportunities for discussion on respectful behavior, be it on the dance floor or anywhere on campus or off.
“The infographic isn’t in response to any type of problem related to dances or dancing,” the spokesperson added.