Students swap Sex Week for actual dates this Valentine’s Day
This year, college students across the nation are taking a more traditional approach to the hypersexualized culture that dominates the Valentine’s Day season.
Rather than participating in sex-toy workshops and one-night stand seminars, students on more than 20 college campuses have decided to promote intentional dating with a “#TakeAChance” poster campaign, using the tagline, “people are worth it.”
"We want to reinforce the message that Valentine's Day is about authentic love—and for many of us in college, that doesn't mean sex."
The Love and Fidelity Network (LFN) is spearheading the event, supplying more than 1,000 posters with a pro-dating message.
Students plastered their campuses and dorms with posters that promote going on dates and getting to know one another as an alternative to hooking up.
Emily Hall, a senior at Harvard University and a Campus Reform Campus Correspondent, noted that casual hookups are the norm on her campus.
“This campaign encourages people to take off their blinders a bit and consider that there might be someone who they'd like to have a relationship with,” she told Campus Reform. “Dating in college is not necessarily just a time suck or distraction—it can be really rewarding to have a boyfriend or girlfriend who is supportive during this time of our lives.”
Currently, two dozen universities are participating in the peer-to-peer campaign, including elite universities like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Georgetown, Notre Dame and Columbia.
Amelia Irvine, a student at Georgetown and a Campus Reform Campus Correspondent, was under fire earlier this year for her role as president of Love Saxa, a student group dedicated to promoting sexual integrity, marriage, and monogamy. She told Campus Reform that she is hopeful that the campaign will change students’ approaches to dating and hook-up culture.
“We want to reinforce the message that Valentine's Day is about authentic love—and for many of us in college, that doesn't mean sex,” she explained.
Meanwhile, many other colleges have kicked-off their annual “Sex Weeks” and activities in celebration of the annual holiday. The UCLA “Sex Squad,” a sexual performance group, recently presented “Foreplay” to teach students new methods of sexual activities in honor of Valentines Day.
On the other coast, the University of North Carolina is celebrating by hosting its annual Sex Week, featuring a “Slut Walk” march around campus.
In light of the “#MeToo movement,” LFN Executive Director Alain Oliver said he wanted to start a campaign that “would offer a positive view of dating and promote respect for the individuals involved, something that college hookup culture lacks.”
Casual hookups “may be sold as harmless fun, but this is far from the truth,” he told Campus Reform, but “aside from the health and safety risks of hooking up (which are many), young men and women report feeling hurt, anxious, confused, and even depressed as a result of casual sexual encounters.
“The campus hookup scene is a race to the bottom, the man or woman who cares less about their partner gets to claim victory,” he added. “The more you objectify yourself and others the farther you fall away from what makes us human—caring about others. And since hookups are almost always fueled by inebriation they significantly increase the risk of sexual assault on campus.”
Inspired directly by students who told LFN they were tired of the predictable campus hookup script, the campaign aims to instil a positive view of dating and promote respect for the individuals involved.
The Love and Fidelity Network seeks to advance the truth about the institution of marriage and the value of sexual integrity among college students and in university practices, policies, and social norms.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @h_scherlacher