The Consent Project

Project Summary

The Consent Project is a public legal education initiative targeted at students grades 8-12. The project focuses on consent education and the legal and practical issues surrounding consent, sexual activity, and sexual assault. The workshops are designed to help students understand their rights and responsibilities with respect to sexuality and consent, particularly when it comes to their intimate relationships. Topics covered include: the meaning of consent, the Criminal Code as it applies to consent, a discussion of the sexual activities that require consent, sexting, and child pornography.

Each workshop is aimed to achieve three key learning objectives:
1. To help students understand the legislation and case law surrounding sexuality and consent;
2. To ensure students understand the nature of the legal consequences of engaging in certain sexuality centered activities, such as sexting; and
3. To help students recognize consent and identify strategies for obtaining consent prior to engaging in sexual relationships or activities.

“My interest in the Consent Project stems from the importance of the message and the immediate impact we can make. Over the course of an hour-long presentation, it’s extremely heartening to see these students engage with the topic of consent, ask questions, learn, and perhaps challenge some preconceptions that they had about what ‘consent’ means in terms of the law, and practically, in Canada.”

Coltyn Herman, 3L
Project Lead

“When I was in high school, I received no information on sexual education, consent, or sexual assault law, not even abstinence, nothing. That was only a few years ago, and I believe there are still many students lacking the same basic information. When I’m presenting, I can see the light turn on in the back of our student’s minds when they realize how it applies to them. Youth need to know these things; they need to know how their personal choices interact with the law. We cannot expect our society to follow laws if we do not teach them.”

Shayla Klein, 3L
Project Lead

Number of Students and Prerequisites

– 15 student volunteers and 2 project leads
– 1Ls are strongly encouraged to apply
– No prerequisites required
– Experience working with children, teens, or in an educative role is an asset, but not required

Area of Law

– Criminal Law
– Internet Law

Legal Skills

– Delivery of legal information
– Public speaking skills
– Legal research and writing

Project Type

Public Legal Education Project

Timeline and Time Commitment

Student volunteers will deliver school workshops remotely from January-March 2021 in pairs. From October-November 2020, students will work together with the project leads and lawyer supervisors to prepare presentation content by updating existing material based on recent changes in the law, and creating new presentation material.

The number of presentations each volunteer is required to conduct from January to March 2021 will be determined by the lawyer supervisors and the project leads in Fall 2020. Each virtual presentation will be 1-1.5 hours in length. All presentations will take place between the hours of 8am-3:30pm. Project leads will try their best to take course schedules into account when scheduling the presentations. While some class time might be missed by student volunteers, this is largely minimal and typically volunteers only end up missing one class.

Student volunteers on this project are expected to volunteer from October 2020 to March 2021 (excluding December 2020). PBSC students are expected to volunteer 3-5 hours per week. Additional hours are at the students’ discretion. Overall, all PBSC projects are easily manageable alongside academic demands.

Required Training

All training for this project is schedule and provided by PBSC Calgary. This training will take place in September-October 2020, and will not conflict with students’ course schedules.

The following PBSC training sessions are mandatory to volunteer on this project:
– PBSC Process Overview
– PBSC Ethics and Professional Responsibility Training
– PBSC Anti-Oppression Training
– Westlaw Research Strategies Training
– Sexual Violence and Responding to Disclosures, presented by Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (CCASA)

Specific dates and times will be provided once volunteers are placed on their respective projects.

COVID-19 Contingency Plan

Student volunteers on this project will conduct all of their project-related work, training sessions, and meetings remotely for the duration of the project. The possibility of in-person work, training sessions, and meetings is subject to directives from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law and Alberta’s public health authority.

How to Apply?

Applications for the 2020/2021 year are now closed. The application deadline for the 2021/2022 cycle will become available August 2021.