This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Northwestern chapter.
Name: Daniel Bender Stern
Major: Theatre and Sociology
Hometown: Newton, Massachusetts
What do you do as part of SHAPE?
I’m the Events Marketing Chair, so I’m in charge of getting word about our events out to the general campus population however possible! Usually that means using standard student group marketing tactics, flyering and utilizing social media. But it’s also about trying to reach new groups who might not always come to our events, since I really believe everyone can benefit from engaging in these kinds of discussions.
What do you think is the most important thing that SHAPE does?
In addition to providing people with important information and resources, I think that SHAPE starts some crucial conversations on campus about sexual health and sexual assault, from talking about the ENU with freshmen, to presentations in Greek life, to larger scale events, like when we screened “The Hunting Ground” last spring. For me, that element of dialogue is super important – getting people to critically engage with these issues and think about moving forward toward a healthier culture on campus.
How do you think NU can change the way we talk about sexual health?
I think we can all move towards thinking about healthy sexuality as taking different forms for different people. In SHAPE, we strive to help people be safe and communicative in their sexuality, but within that we just want people to do what feels comfortable to them. And there shouldn’t be a stigma for being “too sexual” or “not sexual enough.” Your body, your choices, you know? Just keep it safe and consensual. So I would say the biggest thing would be removing that sense of judgment when we’re talking about people navigating their sexuality in a healthy manner.
SHAPE is hosting the “Hooking Up 101” presentation. How do you feel about the hookup and dating culture?
I feel good about any culture that involves active and consistent communication. It sounds pretty simple, but I think an issue people have with hookups is that it doesn’t feel like there’s as much room for communication. And that’s a definitely problematic or even dangerous aspect of hookup culture. That said, if the experience is communicative, safe and consensual, then it just comes down to what people are comfortable with, and I’m definitely supportive of that.
What would be your perfect date?
I’ve been into scary movies recently. If I can end the movie and not be terrified that you’re trying to kill me or something, that bodes well for our future.