Peer educators and other campus resources spread awareness of safer sex through a series of events during “Safe is Sexy Week.”
The University of Idaho Women’s Center, LGBTQA Office, Violence Prevention Program, Office of Multicultural Affairs, Generation Action and Vandal Health Education all collaborated to inform students about resources available to them. The topics included the importance of consent, STI testing, detailed contraception options and free condom locations.
Emily Tuschhoff, director of health promotion for Vandal Health Education, said students should be familiar with campus resources and generally more informed through these outreach opportunities.
Tuschhoff said the point of the week was to remain sex positive for those who participate in sex and also those who don’t.
“Sex is more openly talked about on college campuses than elsewhere, and I think it should be because young adults are at the highest risk for STI transmission,” Tuschhoff said. “There is support for those who ask questions about their experiences and also support for those who are choosing not to have sex right now for a variety of different reasons.”
Monday’s tabling in the Teaching and Learning Center focused on “Consent is Sexy,” hosted by the Violence Prevention Program to enhance the importance of healthy communication. On Wednesday, Vandal Health peer educators hosted a Valentine’s Day Health Hut in the Commons to provide informational pamphlets, free swag and condoms.
Thursday was the “No Glove, No Love: Condoms and Other Contraception” presentation by Dr. Bryn Parker from Moscow Family Medicine and a group of students who shared their experiences. The talk featured contraception options, benefits, success rates and side effects, hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, LGBTQA Office, Women’s Center and Vandal Health Education.
The presentation promoted a culture of respect and inclusiveness toward diverse lifestyles and experiences. Members in the audience asked anonymous questions through an app or filled out sticky notes to avoid feeling awkward or uncomfortable asking in person.
A Vandal Alumni community member, Ceci Mcclurg, said sex is a natural activity and there should be no embarrassment surrounding the topic. A large part of relationships is the discussion of contraceptives and the decision to partake in sex or not, and sex deserves to be something special and fun, she said.
“We have a multi-dimensional student base so it is great to have collaboration between different departments, so all students can rely on resources they are familiar with and learn about new ones too,” Mcclurg said. “I think that Dr. Parker does a great job at explaining topics in a concise and understandable way, while also being medically accurate.”
On Friday, free condoms and more sexual health resources were available. This event is hosted by Generation Action every Friday in the Commons. Free condoms are available all year at the Student Health Clinic, Vandal Health Education Well Space, Women’s Center and dispensers in the LLC Help Desk bathrooms and Wallace Basement.
A new anonymous sexual health question box is being launched both in the Well Space of the Student Recreation Center and in the Women’s Center, located in Memorial Gym. The answers to questions will be posted online weekly. The hope is that anyone, whether or not they participate in sexual activity, can have all of their inquiries answered in a safe environment.
“There is so much information provided in different formats for different people,” Tuschhoff said.
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