Wilson students attend GDS Summit on Sexual Assault, debrief with Principal Martin

Emily Mulderig

A group of Wilson students and faculty attended Georgetown Day School’s (GDS) annual Summit on Sexual Assault and Consent on November 23. Since the event, they have met with Principal Kimberly Martin and are planning to start a committee to confront these issues at Wilson. 

Founded in 2016 by GDS students, the summit aims to educate local students and teachers on issues of sexual assault rights and advocacy so that participants can apply that knowledge to create change in their own schools. This year, following Martin’s encouragement, 10th-grade counselor Evan Camara and science teacher Daniela Muñoz took a team of Wilson sophomores and juniors to the meeting.

The summit is largely student-run, and both Muñoz and Camara stressed how effectively and professionally it was organized. Presentations were held throughout the day and showcased a variety of viewpoints and subtopics, ranging from discussions with sexual assault prosecutors to analysis of the role of gender in sexual assault conversation. The summit also included testimonials from sexual assault survivors.

“There are a lot of things that I heard throughout the summit that really resonated with me and I kind of just keep thinking back on,” Muñoz said. She recalled being moved by an exercise where attendees were asked to list the ways they’ve been taught “how to not be  raped,” followed by comparing each gender’s list. 

Muñoz added that sitting through a day’s worth of disheartening statistics and stories was uncomfortable at times, but “if we want to be better people, we have to confront the things that make us uncomfortable––because that’s the only way to grow.” The presentations were helpful and informative for Camara, who did the 3 Rs—Rights, Respect, Responsibility—consent talks with Wilson students soon thereafter. 

Since the summit, the participants from Wilson have met three times to debrief and discuss, once with Martin. The group hopes to foster an environment at Wilson where issues of sexual assault can be more comfortably talked about. 

“We’re going to be starting a committee at some point soon, in the next couple of weeks, where we get together to just to talk about different things that we’re thinking about, different options,” Camara said, adding that he’s encouraged by Martin’s willingness to work with the group. “There’s a lot of progress that can be made, and a lot of ideas floating around too, especially from students,” Camara said.