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Back to School Sexual Health

Retrieved from uwlax.edu

Retrieved from uwlax.edu

Retrieved from uwlax.edu

Retrieved from uwlax.edu

Marissa Widdifield, Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion Reporter

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The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Wellness and Health Advocacy Center, located in 149 Graff Main Hall also known as the Student Life Office, takes a holistic approach regarding student’s health. Its purpose is to help students and faculty understand there are many factors to reflect upon when considering one’s own well-being. This includes financial, spiritual, emotional, environmental, social and cultural, career and academic, and physical health. Another aspect of one’s well-being could fit into multiple of these areas: sexual health.  

The Wellness and Health Advocacy Center works to combat the stigma attached to talking about sex and strives to create a culture where it is normalized to engage in these conversations. The office trains college-age Peer Health Advocates whose job is to deliver information from peer to peer. This information is typically given out during events such as Condom Bingo, Trust Your Move: Healthy Relationship Building 101, or Sex-Pert Panel, all of which can be requested through the Wellness and Health Advocacy Center’s website. One can browse other events related to sexual health or other aspects related to well-being on the same website. These events are commonly put on in Residence Halls, during club meetings, and even  as presentations in certain classes. There are some opportunities campus-wide, as well. 

Kate Ebert, Wellness Coordinator, said in an interview that one of her favorite events on campus is Sexual Health Week. This week-long event occurs in the early spring in which resources and faculty all over campus and the La Crosse area help to spread sexual awareness of all kinds. Ebert mentioned that these events “move past physical sexual health” and also focus on different conversations pertaining to sex and relationships. She acknowledges that this could be the first-time students engage in talking about sexual health and so the university tries to make it “exciting and welcoming because it can be a scary conversation [to have].”  

When creating sexual health events such as an activity with the Pride Center to a large-scale event like Sexual Health Week, the Wellness and Health Advocacy Center makes sure that the audience hears diverse voices and that their information is not only based on good evidence, but inclusive.  

The Wellness and Health Advocacy Center is partnering with the Student Health Center Oct. 22, 2018 for the campus’s first STI clinic of the year where students are encouraged to get tested at no charge. It also partners with the Pride Center frequently as well as La Crosse’s Essential Health Clinic which provides a multitude of services: preventative care, birth control of all kinds, STD testing and treatment, pregnancy testing and counseling, and emergency contraception (uwlax.edu). The Essential Health Clinic is located at 1201 Caledonia Street, La Crosse.  

The Wellness and Health Advocacy Center provides free condoms and dental dams during business hours and the Student Health Center offers counseling, acute care, gynecological and reproductive services, contraceptives, and HIV & STD testing (uwlax.edu).  

If students are interested in pursuing sexual health education, they can reach out to the Wellness and Health Advocacy Center at [email protected] 

 

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