University-funded Sex Week features chance to win free vasectomy
Last year’s controversial Sex Week at the University of Utah (UU) is back, and this year the university and Planned Parenthood-funded event will include training to be a Planned Parenthood Ambassador and a chance to win a year’s supply of contraceptives.
Students for Choice, a student group supported by Planned Parenthood, organized the second annual Sex Week, with funding also provided by the College of Social Work, Office of Equity and Diversity, Associated Students of UU.
"...health and pleasure are human rights."
At each event, Students for Choice will be handing out raffle tickets for the chance to win a year’s worth of contraceptives, which last year included a choice of 365 condoms, a 12-month supply of pills, 1 Intra-Uterine Device, 4 Depo-Provera shots, 1 Diaphragm, 1 vasectomy, 12 NuvaRings, or 52 OrthoEvra patches.
According to Students for Choice’s Facebook page, some professors are even offering “extra credit or tardy make-ups” if students wish to attend any of the events being held on campus throughout this week.
The first event offered Monday, Reproductive Justice 101, was an interactive workshop about reproductive justice from a medical point of view, held by Medical Students for Choice.
On Wednesday, Students for Choice invites students to "cum join [them]" when Colored Girls Hustle will perform "Hip Hop and Reproductive Justice," as well as leading a workshop about hip hop feminism.
“Colored Girls Hustle believes that health and pleasure are human rights,” the event page reads. “Through reproductive justice and hip-hop, we will affirm our bodies and encourage everybody to be their boldest selves.”
There will also be free STD/HIV testing, a “make your own safe sex kit,” and an event titled Sex and Consent: Embrace the Awkward, where the, “Center for Student Wellness wants to remind you to be up front and honest before doing anything.”
Closing the week’s events is Planned Parenthood Ambassador training.
Kiman Kaur, president of Students for Choice, told the The Daily Utah Chronicle that, “Planned Parenthood often gets a bad rap from anti-abortion advocates,” and describes the event as an, “opportunity to help those interested in reproductive health and justice to learn how to talk about these issues while learning what the organization is really about.”
Last year, the Right to Life at UU group asked for Sex Week to be defunded and relocated off campus.
In a letter sent to the Center for Student Wellness before last year’s events, Right to Life complained that Sex Week “encourage[s] sexual partners to view each other as objects used for pleasure,” saying that while the group’s members support educating students about STD’s and unplanned pregnancies, “this message of education is being lost in the immature nature of Sex Week.”
Despite demands from various groups, the events in 2015 and again this year continue to be funded by the university.
“Students for Choice went through the appropriate channels to get funded,” Katie Stiel, manager of programs at the Center for Student Wellness, told Fox 13 in Salt Lake City.
Kaur added that Sex Week is especially important in Utah because, “The state’s current education system fails to empower students to embrace and love their sexuality.”
“I think that Utah needs to implement a more inclusive and intersectional sex education program,” she said.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @brianledtke