The Racquet

UWL Talks About Sex

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Rachel Mergen, Staff Reporter

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“The point of these events is to empower students to make the decision that is right for them,” Kristy Pearson, a graduate assistant at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Student Life department, stated about the importance of Sexual Health Week on campus, which is currently taking place.

Student Life has partnered with organizations across campus, like the Pride Center, Cru, and Campus Feminists, to bring to members of the community a variety of events during the final week before spring break.

Events include discussions on how to start conversations with partners about sex, trivia activities, De-Centering Heteronormativity, Adventures in Dating, Condom Bingo, and Speak About It, where serious topics like consent will be discussed.

Students will have the opportunity to learn about safe sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and how to have healthy sexual relationships, no matter their orientation.

“I think with Sexual Health week we are able to educate on two levels. We are teaching about a variety of sex-related topics: STI prevention, birth control etc., but we are also hoping to instill that sexual health encompasses so much more than penetrative acts and who has what genitalia and what they’re doing with it,” student Claudia Noonan described.

“We are trying to introduce conversations about respect, self-love, the importance of conversation and exploration, consent. Sexual Health is a state of emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality as well as practicing safe sex and healthy relationships.”

“We are here to support whatever decision the student makes to be comfortable in their own skin. So if they choose to have sex, that is completely their choice,” Pearson noted. “It’s supposed to be a fun, inclusive week for everybody just to get involved.”

“Our world isn’t made of boxes, so if we are to provide comprehensive sexual education, we need to be truly comprehensive. When we talk about STI prevention, it’s important that we aren’t talking just about condoms. When we talk about sex, it’s important we actively recognize that healthy sexual interactions encompass so much more than sex. We intentionally wanted a variety of topics to discuss things like communication skills, body image, consent, reproductive health, and cultural and societal influences on our sexual health, in addition to the important information on safe sex and STI prevention,” Noonan said.

“One of the most enjoyable parts of Sexual Health week is seeing the UWL community at these events learning about the resources available to them, being accepting of those around us, and engaging in open, honest, accepting conversation.”

She hopes attendees will learn something from the events and “feel empowered to make choices about their sexual health and stand up for themselves and what they want and need.”

“We encourage people to come to the events. They can like us on Facebook at UW La Crosse Student Life. All of our events are on there,” concluded Pearson.

Additional information, including a list of events, can also be found here.

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About the Writer
Rachel Mergen, Multimedia Editor


Year: Senior
Hometown: Bloomington, Wisconsin
Major: English with a Rhetoric and Writing Emphasis and Political Science
Minor: None
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