It’s all about taking charge of your own reproductive health, and Students for Choice at the University of Utah is here to help you do just that.

“We believe in the fundamental rights of every individual, throughout the world, to manage his or her fertility, regardless of the individual’s income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or residence,” Vice President of Students for Choice Jessica Valdes said in an email interview.

Students for Choice is a student-run group that works to get students involved in their own reproductive health choices and local government. Among other activities, they host a yearly sex week which highlights sexual and reproductive freedom, distribute free condoms around campus, advocate for free period products and plan and run events focusing on sexual assault prevention.

“Students for Choice formed in response to the need to empower students in their reproductive health choices whatever they may be and to also encourage students to become engaged in their local government,” said Students for Choice President Kiman Kaur in an email interview.

Students for Choice started four years ago at the U. The Planned Parenthood Association of Utah wanted local students to become more active in the fight for reproductive rights.

“Students for Choice formed in response to the need to empower students in their reproductive health choices whatever they may be and to also encourage students to become engaged in their local government,” said Kaur.

The work that Students for Choice does on campus is not only important, but it’s also valuable for each student that participates.

“Working with Students for Choice feels extremely rewarding, especially in this current political climate,” said Student Data Manager Kennedy Fields in an email interview. “The club keeps you up to date on all that’s going on regarding threats to our reproductive rights and offers a variety of ways to get involved, from things like helping with sex education forums on campus to lobbying legislators at the capital to creative workshopping with amazing activists like Prisca Dorcas.”

Getting involved is easy — members must fill out a small application, but there is not a minimum number of events or meetings that one is required to attend. The group takes into account the busy schedule of students and encourages people to check them out during their free time.

“We want to continue raising up students to help us engage in education and activism work both on campus and out in our communities,” said Vice President of Students for Choice Sam Roberts in an email interview. “We want to help make the U’s campus into a space that will be accessible and welcoming for all individuals, especially those of marginalized populations.”

Students for Choice focuses respect and value for diversity, striving to ensure that all persons can participate in voluntary reproductive self-determination.

Students for Choice is currently organizing a Take Back the Night march on April 5 from 6-8 p.m. The march is intended to combat sexual violence. The group will march from President’s Circle at the U to Westminster College’s Bassis Lounge.

Students at the U should become involved with Students for Choice to learn about reproductive health and take charge of their own bodies. Student groups like Students for Choice truly make a difference with their activism — and you can too.

letters@chronicle.utah.edu

@TheChrony

Shaelyn is a fourth year at the University of Utah studying Political Science and Journalism in the hopes that someday she can be a travel writer. She is especially passionate about social justice, LGBTQ+ rights, women's rights, and mental health awareness. In her (very rare) free time she loves to hike, paint, and read.

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