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True Support for Your Students

Whether you are a parent or an educator, you know the importance of having support in your life. Imagine your boss tells you, “Go ahead and give it a shot” and then does everything possible to make your life difficult in accomplishing your goal. Your Boss’s actions did not match his/her words.

When we see schools and parents who provide genuine, strong support, the RESULTS are amazing. Last night, York University’s President spoke briefly before my presentation and then sat in the FRONT ROW with MANY of the Vice Presidents from the university (York is located in Toronto). The significance of the leadership staying for the show sent a strong message to the students of much York cares about this issue. Most Presidents of universities make a quick visit and then leave.

A school with a history of showing their support for this issue is where I am speaking this evening: Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. Every year, we have a “Train the Trainer” session and then go to dinner with the leadership from the campus (heads of departments from various elements of the college – including the President) before presenting the “Can I Kiss You?” presentation. The week of the program, their professors and staff wear the “Can I Kiss You?” shirts for several days. The result is a line of students every year waiting outside the doors of the Ballroom 2 HOURS before the show starts. The campus’s support results in a ROCK CONCERT MENTALITY for addressing safer dating and sexual assault!

In both cases above, people made it a mission to get the top leadership heavily involved. They subtly and creatively engaged top leadership to the point that the leadership WANTED to be affiliated with the mission and the program. What are you doing to engage your leadership in a manner which makes them WANT to strongly support your mission?

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York University in Canada Appreciates Programming

York University was another great show in Canada last night. The appreciation and respect for discussing respect AND survivors of sexual assault is inspiring. The number of times last night an audience member applauded while I was mid-sentence discussing TAKING ACTION and supporting survivors was unique.

I’d make a serious point and suddenly hear an audience member clapping to show how much they wanted to reinforce what you said. Within moments, all the students are clapping. You talk about the strength and courage of each survivor – the students are applauding the STRENGTH and COURAGE of survivors before I even finish my sentence. AWESOME!!!

Plus, York University made a point to show their support by the ADMINISTRATION. The President of the University and several VPs sat in the front row for the entire presentation – a commitment to how much they want the students to know the importance of this discussion. When they heard they were going to have a large audience, they rented a facility just off campus to insure the best attendance possible.

A big KUDOs to everyone at York!!

College Students ARE Taking Action

How much fun is getting students to make positive statements about consent?  In the past 3 weeks of our Fall “Can I Kiss You?” Tour, we have had a record number of audiences choose to make videos for YouTube on Asking First.  NOTE: The university officials in attendance ALWAYS have the final say on what we film for representing their campus. Here is a quick examples:

In addition to spreading the word via video, students typically love fun t-shirts with messages they believe in.  As evidence, a record number of students are purchasing the NEW “Can I Kiss You?” and “Want Some Action?” T-shirts at the events.  The demand has been so high that shipments have had to been sent afterward to meet the demand.  Students are telling us they love the look AND the message.

Often students find opening up and sharing with others to be difficult and/or uncomfortable.  For this reason, we have been hearing that the “Action Pad” Post-It notes (the handout every student receives when entering the “Can I Kiss You?” program – anyone can purchase the Action Pads for their campus) have been a big hit.  They enable students to SHARE positive messages through a simple post-it note.  Southern Utah University reported that their Resident Assistants have been seeing the Action Pads being used throughout the hallways of their residence halls – to promote a more caring atmosphere for everyone.

Evaluate all of the above and what you realize is STUDENTS ARE TAKING ACTION in their own lives and to spread the message into the lives of others.  Provide students fun resources for creating change and they will be happy to help make a positive difference.

P.S. College students recently contacted me to share they’ve recorded a song about “Can I Kiss You?” and are going into a professional studio to record it!!  Once the song is available, we will let you know ASAP.

Western Rocks Rez Rally!!

Each year, the University of Western Ontario throws one of the best opening day for students. From 9am til late night, the day is packed – full of learning AND fun. I am honored to be a part of this annual celebration/learning event called the REZ RALLY! Becca Carroll and her entire team do a FANTASTIC job running O Week and at being incredible hosts to guests on their campus such as myself.

Each college on campus at Western competes for spirit and cheering at every event. Thus creating an amazing energy everywhere you go…all while creating a bond and feeling of FAMILY. Below is a video FROM EACH PRESENTATION of the “Can I Kiss You?” Show from today. You will see 2 audiences of near 2000 STUDENTS each and then one audience of several hundred.

Thanks, Western, for another spectacular REZ RALLY!!!



CAN WESTERN KISS YOU? 2000 students ask

We just received the following pictures from Becca Carroll who does a fantastic job of putting REZ RALLY together and being a wonderful host:

Click on the pictures to see full view.

Bearcats Love Cheri

As you may know, the person who inspired me to want to speak out originally back in the early 90s was my sister Cheri, an amazing survivor. Tonight, a campus ASKED to honor Cheri in a video statement.  Northwest Missouri State University students unanimously voted to have the following video filmed.  I was moved and thrilled to be able to put a video on YouTube with such a special message to share with the world. Please watch the video below and then Leave a Comment:

Keuka goes BIG

Keuka College has me speak to their incoming students each year in the Chapel which is a beautiful location. The seating goes far back and so last night Keuka provided a video screen upfront showing a closeup of the show. The results?

The students in the back were as equally engaged as those in the front row! Great Job to Jen and everyone at Keuka who also raised money for their local crisis center through the sales of “Can I Kiss You?” shirts and books.

Watch the video below:

St. Lawrence raises MONEY at “Can I Kiss You?” Show.

Last night, St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY had 2 great turnouts.  Due to the size of their incoming class, they have me present the “Can I Kiss You?” program at 2 different times of 7pm and 9pm.  The attendance at each session was wonderful and the interaction and reactions afterward were fantastic.

Chris Morrin runs one of the best student Advocate programs in the WORLD at St. Lawrence. Their numbers of students who are trained as Advocates (referred to as “Sex Positive Violence Prevention”) is amazing, especially for a smaller size campus.


In addition to the students downloading “Voices of Courage” from our website (as a Gift to give those they care about), they raised a record amount of money from our show.  We give 10% of all T-shirt and book SALES at our events to a non-profit organization the individual campus chooses.  At the current rate of results, this semester is going to be a record high in donations raised by students purchasing books and shirts.  The new shirts are being sought after so much by students that we are frequently running out sizes at the events.


A Change is Gonna Come

On my United Airlines flight last Thursday night to go speak at the University of Southern Utah, I was scrolling throught the various videos on my iPad.  The first video which caught my attention was Jon Bon Jovi and Bettye LaVette singing “A Change is Gonna Come” in front of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the Inauguration Celebration for President Obama.  Have you seen this video?

When I’ve discussed the video with people, I’m continually disappointed how anything related to a President (regardless of party affiliation) becomes an issue of politics, especially ironic if you watch and LISTEN to this video.  The only thing political about this music video is the theme of the song.  What do I mean?  If the message of the song was implemented, our political atmosphere would be much healthier for people of all political beliefs.  Enough of my little SoapBox statement.  Lets get back to the video.  Enjoy it below and then we will discuss.  For now, take it in!

What were your favorite moments of the video?  What lines in the song standout for you?  How did this overall video impact you and why?  Share this video with friends and family on FaceBook. Are you an Educator?  If so, ask students for their reactions.

Once a few people begin to comment, I will share my reactions to the video and why I find it so powerful for everyone working to make a positive difference!


Lake Forest College Pities the Fool

Tonight, Lake Forest College made a commitment to asking first.  In fact, they threw a challenge out to those who DO NOT ASK FIRST.  Altogether, they chanted, “I  Pity the Fool Who Doesn’t Ask First” (yes aka The “A” Team).

In the picture to your right is Barbie – a Resident Assistant at Lake Forest College.  Before the main “Can I Kiss You?” presentation, the RAs and I met for a “Train the Trainer” session.  The group was very open-minded to new ideas and you could clearly see their passion for wanting to be great leaders for their residents.

Patrick, thanks for making each aspect of today run smoothly!!  ENJOY the video below of all the incoming students “pitying the fool.”  LEAVE A COMMENT below and I will personally respond!

Remember to Leave a Comment Below!

Southern Utah University ROCKED THE ARENA

Southern Utah University, its past 10 O’Clock now.  You rocked the arena today.  Sitting through 2 consecutive presentations in the middle of a warm afternoon is tough for anyone.  You were a blast share with.  I look forward to hearing what you’ve done SINCE our time together.  Remember to share in our forums and you can LEAVE A COMMENT below.  I will personally respond to each comment.


Remember to share your comments and thoughts below!

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