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Consent Culture

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“You must be Finn! So good to meet you.”

A stocky girl in khakis and a button-up comes out into the courtyard and holds out a hand in greeting.

“I’m Rose. I’m the Move In Coordinator and the Technical Coordinator for the House.” Her smile is bright and kind.

Finn drops his bags, with relief, to shake her hand. His arms are aching from the long haul from the airport. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“So you’re a transfer student? Starting at UC San Fran in the fall?”

“That’s right,” says Finn.

“Well cool. Basically, here are the main rules: everybody does 3 chores a week to keep up the House and keep the rent cheap. We’ll assign those chores at the first House Meeting. We have those meetings every week, and we decide everything through unanimous vote. Obviously be respectful to everyone, and if you share drugs with one person, you have to offer them to everyone. If we get fined for a party or something, everyone has to chip in. And most importantly, we have a culture of consent. There’s a workshop tonight to explain that to the new Monties, you should definitely come. Ben and Poe are gonna be leading it, and they’re both really great. Here, let me help you.”

Rose reaches down and lifts up one of Finn’s suitcases by the handle. “I’ll show you where your room is, and give you your key.”

As she leads him across the courtyard, she throws one more kind smile over her shoulder. “I’m sure you’ll have a great summer here. We have a lot of fun at Belmonte House.”

There are three tall, pale-green houses leading off of the courtyard. All three of them are quirky and a little worn down, with lots of little roofs and fire escapes, where laundry sways on lines. Finn follow her into the middle house, feeling a bubbling of nervous excitement in his gut, and a prickle of anticipation up his spine.