The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
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Campus Lovin’: Groups promote safe sex

By Carlos Mayorga

Students on university campuses nationwide, including the U, will be busy passing out condoms, safe sex information and getting people to talk about sexual responsibility this week as part of National Condom Week.

More than 30 years ago, students at the University of California at Berkeley started what has now become known as “National Condom Day.” The sexual health education program at UC Berkeley was one of the first in the nation, and the concept has since reached other colleges and universities, including the U.

Officials from the U Student Health Center will pass out free condoms, hand out sexual health information and answer questions students have about sex as part of the U’s Sexual Responsibility Week.

Rachel Crane, health educator at the U Student Health Center, said they will host a sex education fair on Wednesday at the Heritage Center in Rooms 1A and 1B from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“We’ll talk how to put on a condom correctly, about consent and sexual assault, and we’ll talk about ways to be intimate without sex,” Crane said.

Love psychic Margaret Ruth, who gives advice to callers on popular Salt Lake City radio station X96, will also speak Wednesday night to students at the Heritage Center event.

Although the event has taken place annually for several years, Crane said that the Student Health Center has been accused and criticized in the past for advocating sexual activity.

Event organizers once titled the week-long event “get laid” to draw attention, but some U faculty and administrators received negative feedback from the outside community.

“In the past, we had more provocative themes to catch people’s attention, which caused a negative perception that the U was promoting sex,” Crane said. “We just have to be careful about what we are advertising.”

Organizers added abstinence education this year as an option to safe sex, and students who aren’t sexually active can learn, as the event will cover how to be responsible in a relationship, Crane said.

In addition to the event, some U students are making an effort to promote sexual awareness.

Students for Choice, a student group at the U linked to a national organization that advocates for reproductive rights, will also mark National Condom Week. The group will set up a display in the Union with information about safe sex and will pass out free condoms on Thursday.

“We’re going to be passing out condoms and we will have games to educate students on sexual health,” said Nick Critchlow, co-president of Students for Choice and a junior in mass communication. “We want to make people aware of the precautions of using a condom.”

Other colleges and universities, including Berkeley, are also providing students with options other than just advocating for safe sex.

Tiffany Lewis, a Health Educator at the Sexual Health Education Program at Berkeley, said that although the theme revolves around condoms, the message is much bigger.

“We want people to know it’s about more than just condoms,” Lewis said.

Berkeley students will pass out condoms and lubricant, but will also ask students to make a safe sex commitment, pledging to things such as abstinence, or if students are going to have sex, pledging to discuss their sexual history with their partners, always using condoms and getting frequent checkups for sexually transmitted diseases.

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