A team of individuals, including various Trinity students, have developed a new app, Good2Go, aimed at preventing sexual assault and fostering better communication among people. The app, which was offered for a brief period of time is no longer available for download as of the evening of Oct. 2. Senior Nick Allman alongside family and friends who wanted to tackle the rising issue of sexual assault started the project.
“The genesis of it was early July; it was born out of conversations at the dinner table with my family,” Allman said. “Eventually we invited family and friends of mine to be a part of it, and bit by bit the team grew throughout the summer until reaching its current size that includes Christian, some other students at other schools around the country and others who have helped us in various ways.”
The process of building the app itself consisted of various programming and brainstorming, the latter which Allman said proved the more difficult challenge.
“The programming part isn’t hard, there are tons of people who have been trained to do this; the hard part is actually drawing up the specs,” Allman said. “That took us a long time, we weren’t completely finished until recently because we put a lot of thought into it all.”
The app is a streamline procedure for gaining consent from individuals, in an effort to prevent miscommunication and eventually sexual assault.
“Basically the app is meant to help reduce the frequency of sexual assaults,” Allman said. “It seeks to make communication easier and make parties’s intentions clear and to make the assessed level of sobriety more accurate to reduce the amount of times a sexual assault is committed when there wasn’t an understanding between the parties.”
The app itself requires a user to register an account, after which they and their registered partner can enter their level of sobriety and confirm consent between one another.
However, the app is not legally binding, a criticism which according to senior Christan Nardini needs to be cleared up to avoid any confusion.
“This is not a legal contract at any stage,” Nardini said. “This is just a communication part at the beginning and it can be withdrawn at any part by anyone involved; it is not legally binding.”
In terms of consent, Good2Go hopes to encourage affirmative consent, a concept which is not often traditionally understood in conversations and discussion regarding consent and sexual assault.
“The goal is to make it easy to ascertain affirmative consent,” Allman said. “Traditionally, consent has been understood as the lack of protest””so it’s consensual unless someone says “˜no.’ Affirmative consent is: it isn’t consensual unless someone says “˜yes.'”
So far, according to Nardini, the app and its goals have been well received, albeit with some awkwardness at first.
“It’s generally been positive especially with the millennial generation,” Nardini said. “Yes I think there is no denying the awkwardness at the beginning and some will argue practically but it think people see the larger picture and what this can reduce.”
To many students as well, the app has been received warmly with positive hope for its implementation. However, many others are skeptical about the practicality, something many new projects face at the beginning according to Nardini and Allman.
“It’s a really tough subject to talk about,” said junior Clint Schroeder. “I don’t think people would immediately go to the app; it isn’t a first impulse.”
With this in mind Allman hopes to create a culture where the app’s usage becomes second nature and widely accepted across campuses around the nation.
“Anytime something completely new that beforehand, it’s going to be strange at first until it become so common place it isn’t strange anymore,” Allman said. “Our hope is that eventually the culture will change that it isn’t weird anymore and if that culture change happens, that it will also come with tangible benefits.”
Similarly, Nardini notes that like many other projects, what was once awkward and obscure eventually becomes second nature.
“Facebook at first was socially awkward; who would imagine posting all your photos of yourself online, tagging yourself to exact locations at any moment, pretty much putting your whole life and profile to the whole world? But now it’s generally accepted in culture,” Nardini said.
Despite criticisms about practicality and usage, Allman, Nardini and the Good2Go team hope that the app can ultimately prevent sexual assaults and generate better communication between the parties involved.
“The way we see it is that if this prevents just one sexual assault all our energy was worth it,” Nardini said.
The Trinitonian will be corresponding with Nardini and Allman over the weekend.Any new developments discussed regarding the app, its availability for download and consumer feedback will be covered in next week’s issue or updated online at trinitonian-theme1.mystagingwebsite.com.