Carnival moves to end sex stigma

Student Health Services teamed up with the Residence Hall Association Tuesday to host an event for students to learn about the birds and the bees. 

This event took place in Preska 126 from 8-10 p.m. There were many opportunities for students to learn about sex and even consent. 

The event’s goal was to educate students on sex, consent and resources on campus for them to get any help they need. Brennah McCorkell, the graduate assistant at Student Health Services, said she hopes  the event helps eliminate the stigma of talking about sex and sexuality. 

“I think the comfort with it, like we’ve had students that come in and are just not comfortable with this kind of stigma of sexuality. I think being more comfortable, like realizing it’s okay to talk about these things and important to talk about them,” said McCorkell. “‘It’s just something that society, as a whole, think it’s taboo to talk about sex.” 

The event featured a variety of informative booths. For example, the Violence Awareness & Response Program’s theme was consent. It was called the Tunnel of Consent. MK Thao, the graduate assistant for this program, said learning about consent is important. 

“Sometimes certain things we don’t think about it on a day-to-day basis. For example, maybe you’re friends with someone and maybe touching something that belongs to them, and that is something you don’t think about,” said Thao. “No matter what relationship you’re in, whether it’s friendship or an intimate partner relationship, it’s important to understand that as boundaries, and I feel like a lot of people make it awkward. It doesn’t have to be.” 

The activities at the event were both interactive and educational. McCorkell said she wanted students to have a little bit of fun while learning. 

“It’s not just like lecturing at them or teaching them; it’s doing it in a fun way. We had a balloon pop like they’re trying to be fun interactive activities,” said McCorkell. “We also had a love language luau. Students came in, took their love language quiz, and then got a lei as the prize, and we’re doing them color-coordinated, so people got to see what everyone’s love languages were.” 

There were many prizes for students at this event, such as candy and safe-sex kits. 

“Each kit had one condom, a lube sample, and then a sheet on consent as well,” said McCorkell. “We had kissing kits, which had chapstick, mints, things like that.” 

There are many resources on campus for students to learn more. 

“We have a lot of resources on our Student Health Services. We have a web page with a health guide with information on sexuality and safe sex practices. We also sell condoms at Student Health Services for $1, which students can put on their math card as well,” said McCorkell. “We do presentations on campus, where we go into classes, and we’ll do condom bingo, a physical bingo game, or a Kahoot version. Our clinic does testing for students.” 

Header Photo: Student Health Services hopes to break the stigma surrounding the conversation about sex on college campuses, using a carnival. (Lilly Anderson/The Reporter)

Write to Lauren Viska at lauren.viska@mnsu.edu

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