Can I Kiss You?

Courtney Garloff, Print Editor

One simple question can completely change dating on college campuses.

Students laughed and discussed consensual relationships during the “Can I Kiss You?” program sponsored by the Safe Peer Educators and Student Activities on Feb. 8.

The program is offered by the Date Safe Project, founded by Mike Dormitrz whose sister was a rape victim.

Students received pins, temporary tattoos, wristbands and wax lips to enjoy as they listened to Dormitrz, a nationally known speaker who travels the country and world speaking to middle, high school and college students as well as military members about dating and intimacy.

Some of the topics included consent – and the role of alcohol in sexual assaults.

“If someone is drunk, they cannot give consent because there are not 100 percent in their normal state of mind,” said Dormitrz.

Dormitrz suggested that students enlist friends for backup and then to offer a ride home for the intoxicated person.

“The creeper will freak out and create a scene and reveal themselves. Then you will have more than just your friends supporting you,” said Dormitrz.

Dormitrz started advocating for victims of sexual assault after his freshman year of college when he found out his sister had been sexually assaulted.

“I thought one thing: I wanted him dead,” said Dormitrz.

While that response was overwhelming – and the wrong one, Dormitrz said – Dormitrz used humor to lighten the heavy topic and help students learn effective ways to open the lines of communication with students who have been victimized and need to cope.

“I do feel the work is a calling. The traveling does not get tiring because I know I’m going somewhere to get the opportunity to open minds and inspire a new way of thinking. I get the wonderful honor and opportunity to plant the seed for them to take care of and nourish, “ said Dormitrz.”

“I thought that the program was educational and fun and it kept my attention. I really wish I would have gotten a T-shirt,” said sophomore business administration major Sarah Pulice.

Pulice attended the program as part of the women’s lacrosse team. “Most people don’t ask for a kiss.They just go for it,” said Dormitrz.

A main point of the night included students learning not to be afraid to ask.

“I most enjoyed that the guy was really down to earth and was really good with a hard topic,” said speech language pathology major Kelsey Rafferty.

Before Dormitrz presented his program, he met with members of SAFE Student Educators, Peer Advocates and Resident Assistants to give a demonstration on how to be a student presenter.

“I always start out a presentation by asking a simple question to get people connected and involved,” said Dormitrz.

“After the training I was excited to see the program and it exceeded my expectations,” said Rafferty.

Many students went to both the training and program later that night to see the strategies put into action.

“I thought the training was really helpful, because he covered a lot of issues that we as Peer Advocates have to deal with. We learned how to deal with hecklers and how to get people more engaged in what we are saying,” said Rafferty.

To end the night Dormitrz handed out T-shirts and gave away copies of the two books that he wrote – May I Kiss You? and Voices of Courage.

May I Kiss You? is a guide for dating that offers real life scenarios to help readers solve any problems that they might face as they date in college.

His second book, Voices of Courage, features the stories of 12 survivors of sexual assault, including the story of Dormitrz’s sister.

Everyone in attendance got the e-copy and audio book of Voices to read. For more information on sexual assault prevention or Dormitrz’s work, visit

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