By Kevin LaFrancis
Sex is not just about the time spent in the bedroom, but it’s about understanding your identity and being able to express yourself, as seen at this university during the inaugural Sex Week last week.
Sree Sinha, a junior psychology major, developed the idea behind the Sex Week events that took place from Oct. 15 to 18 to honor National Health Education Week at the university.
Events included a question-and-answer session with a sex therapist, an open mic event for students to share personal stories and free testing for sexually transmitted infections.
After seeing sexual awareness events take place at other universities around the country, Sinha noticed the absence of sexual health and well being forums on the campus, especially among the diverse student groups around.
Sinha proposed forming a sex week at the university to fellow members of the RHA executive board during a discussion about social programs for students.
“I wanted there to be a way for students to bring up natural things in conversation that many people go through, but are not often discussed,” Sinha said.
Margaret Doyle, the RHA public relations and outreach officer, previously heard about the idea and wanted to help, becoming actively involved in the organizing process.
“We worked jointly over the summer to prepare. We promoted the event in the ensuing months through our Facebook page and editorials,” Doyle said.
When Sex Week finally arrived, the overwhelming support of the program excited Sinha and Doyle.
“For every negative comment we had, there was at least 25 positive ones,” Sinha said.
Many events even surpassed student attendance expectations, some bringing in double or triple the expected amount of people.
“We were pulling chairs in from other areas. We ran out of T-shirts; the demand was insane,” Sinha said.
Doyle and Sinha worked closely with Jenna Beckwith, the university sexual health program coordinator, to organize events at the health center as well.
Sophomore journalism major Alicia McElhaney attended the Women’s Health Open House event on Oct. 17.
McElhaney was pleasantly surprised by the variety of age groups and backgrounds of the women who attended the event, as well as their enthusiasm.
Health care professionals gave speeches about seeking out medical tests such as mammograms and gynecology appointments regularly as well as explaining the effectiveness of the different birth control options.
“It was a really warm environment; it allowed me to learn a lot,” McElhaney said.
Sinha wants to reach out to even more students in the future and increase Sex Week awareness.
Sinha plans to create one main event that encapsulates the entire week, serving as an introduction.
She also plans to expand to different types of awareness events throughout the year.
Editor’s note: Content edited for facts November 14, 2013