Well, that was fun while it lasted: the "Consent the D" campaign against sexual assault started by a few DePaul University students has ended. "Unfortunately, the 'Consent the D' movement was cut short by forces outside of my control," founder Randy Vollrath said in a video message posted Tuesday. "T-shirt production has been halted while we work to address the issue."
On Monday, a post on the group's Facebook page went up, which stated, "The movement has ended early; we are no longer selling shirts. Thank you to everyone who has supported this movement." In the video, Vollrath said:
As a socially driven organization, we will never completely see eye-to-eye with other organizations, though we may fight for the same cause. We can respect that others feel different about the t-shirts, but allow me to clarify, so any differing feelings are not misinformed.
Vollrath went on to reiterate how the t-shirts were designed to reference the previously popular "Fear the D" t-shirts sold by DePaul to support the basketball team. He said the word consent was chosen because it is "unambiguous."
"We know there has been controversy, but we consider the movement a great success," he added.
One student who spoke to The DePaulia speculated that the t-shirts were no longer being sold because of trademark concerns from the DePaul administration. And as Jezebel reported last week, she was one of those who took issue with how Vollrath handled his campaign.
"We were upset that because this is an issue that groups on campus having been focusing on for so long," said Adina Babaian, a member of the group DePaul Feminist Front. "He had not reached out to the community and had not made any attempts to have discussions about the shirt. He clearly wasn't educated on the issue and because he was male, it was automatically more praised because of his gender."
Before it was shut down, Consent the D sold 74 t-shirts. It is unclear at this time if students will receive them or if the money raised will be given to Rape Victim Advocates, the group the funds were designated to be donated to in the first place. In a comment on the original post Jezebel posted today, RVA wrote:
Friends: While we appreciate the intention behind the "Consent the D" campaign and the desire of its founders to be proactive in the fight against campus sexual assault, the execution lacked proper input from those experienced with the issue. RVA will direct any donations received to our 'Men in the Movement' discussion series, which helps men become meaningful partners with women in working to eliminate sexual violence; in doing so, the funds will help address some of the problems exemplified by the "Consent the D" campaign.
Image via Consent the D