Author to host ‘Can I Kiss You?’

Emily Nordquist

The words “Can I kiss you?” are expected to be used by a boyfriend or a girlfriend, but tonight they will come from a less likely source.

Kent State will be hosting Mike Domitrz, a speaker and author of several books on improving communication for healthy dating behavior. His “Can I kiss you?” program will be at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Kiva. It is free and open to the public.

Domitrz is a sexual assault prevention expert and has written a number of books on issues of sexual assault and dating among college students. His presentations are considered unconventional, using role play and open discussion to highlight better communication, respect and sexual assault awareness.

According to his Web site,, Domitrz said he found students were describing information about sexual assault as “boring or depressing.” He took this as an opportunity to create a light-hearted, interactive program to keep the attention of his viewers.

Hilda Pettit, coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center, said she feels this program will be addressing a very important issue on all college campuses. Pettit pointed out statistics from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, that said young women are four times more likely than any other group to be victims of sexual assault.

Freshman business major Ondia Butler said she thinks this program could be very helpful for creating healthy dating behavior on campus – especially for her as a freshman.

“Some upperclassmen feel like they can take advantage of you because you are a freshman,” Butler said. “Not all guys have your best interest in mind.”

Pettit said she understands that dating is a complicated thing and something that can get out of hand.

“There are a lot of miscommunications in dating and that can be dangerous,” Pettit said. “Sometimes women contribute to that just as much as men.”

Domitrz’s program will offer dating advice and tactics for both men and women. “Can I kiss you?” is being co-sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center, Intercollegiate Athletics and the University Health Services.

Contact student life reporter Emily Nordquist at