Sex education crucial on NAU campus
In the midst of legislative battles regarding the financing of contraceptives to increase women’s reproductive health, universities and students across the nation have been pushing for the promotion of healthy sexuality. Primarily student-run programs with tables and giveaways, this trend, known as “Sex Week” has become an integral part of higher education in many schools. With the lack of comprehensive sex education in middle and high schools around the nation, these events help in creating accurate and highly necessary education that wasn’t available to students before. The open environment of events such as these assists in helping students obtain true information they cannot get from conversations from their often grossly misinformed peers.
Events aimed toward the promotion of healthy sexuality at NAU includes tables set up in the union for condom giveaways, information on HIV and STD testing and even lessons on the proper way to put on a condom. The Associated Students for Women’s Issues developed and sponsors the Student Education Team, or SET, which is designed to promote awareness on issues on campus such as sexual assault and rape. They also put on programs for students, such as “Sex in the Dark” where students can comfortably gather and talk discuss private concerns regarding sex or sexual activity. These are beneficial to all students, sexually active or not, because sexual assault and rape are important subjects to be informed about, however disturbing and taboo they may be.
Despite all our university provides for the students, according to Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, NAU has a long way to go. As of last year, Columbia University ranks highest in promoting sexual health on campus, having 18 student health groups available to students, as well as “active support from students and faculty.” Northwestern University ranks 28, for their “extensive peer education programs that provide students with a wealth of information, events and workshops on sexual health year round.”
The Trojan condom company has criteria listed that universities must achieve in order to rank high on the list. Some of these include the student opinion on the health center, contraceptive availability, outreach programs for sexual health issues, availability of sexual assault programs and availability of HIV/STI testing. These are some of the things that contribute to sexual health on campus, and it is also crucial for students to utilize these resources. According to Just Yell Fire, a non-profit organization that raises awareness for women’s issues, 1 in 4 women become a victim of sexual assault. With a community that is open about this terrible crime, women who are victims are able to be more open about their experiences and seek help, as well as help other women who have had similar traumatic experiences.
Furthermore, real education about sex is critical to preventing pregnancy and preventing STIs and STDs. There are many important pieces of information that even college students lack, and getting them informed properly is crucial to safe health and sexuality. Despite the lack of education many students received in high school, ‘better late than never’ is a relevant mantra, especially in a culture in which so many aspects are based off of sex: movies, TV, commercials and even books. Whether one agrees with this lifestyle, education is important and these programs shed light on many aspects of sex that students need to know about.