Cell phones on, please: River Huston to visit UI with interactive presentation
Cell phone use during a speech or presentation is often considered poor manners and disrespectful. But activist, author and performer River Huston asks her audience members to not only bring their cell phones, but also use them during the show.
Huston will present her interactive show SEXED at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Union Building ballroom.
“She tries to create a talk show-type atmosphere that is very interactive. She’s texting with the audience throughout the event, they can text in questions, comments, things like that,” said University of Idaho Health Education Coordinator, Shannon Haselhuhn. “She’s using texting, social media, things like that to communicate so it’s supposed to be really fun, interactive, exciting — even though she’s talking about some heavier topics.”
Haselhuhn said the hour-long show will present a variety of issues related to sex, drugs and alcohol, but is intended to be fun for students.
“The basis of her presentation is how drugs and alcohol can impact decision making, safe sex and sexual assault,” Haselhuhn said.
Haselhuhn said she thinks the show will be beneficial for everyone, but in particular she encourages first-year students to attend.
“The university does not require any alcohol programming for our first-year students,” Haselhuhn said. “So I think it’s a really important topic to talk about, so I tried to find something that was relevant to them but also covered something that we don’t make mandatory.”
Huston has been performing and speaking to groups for 20 years about topics ranging from safe sex and HIV to sexuality, self-esteem and alcohol abuse. Overall, Huston’s presentations focus on overcoming challenges and making better choices.
The topics for Huston’s presentations come from her own experiences, including her struggle with alcohol addiction. Huston has also lived with HIV for 28 years. She is known for using comedy to keep her shows lively and entertaining, despite dealing with serious topics.
Huston has made appearances on CNN, Good Morning America, Showtime, the Montel Williams Show and NPR.
“It will be one hour long and it’s definitely worth taking the time to come to,” Haselhuhn said. “She’s talking about sexuality, sexual assault, alcohol, drugs, decision making … I think taking a second to realize the impact that some of our decisions centered around fun can have on the big picture is important. It’s definitely an educational piece, but it’s lively and fun and taking an hour out of your evening that could maybe save you from making some decisions is beneficial.”
Kaitlyn Krasselt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org