Health Center holds Sexual Responsibility Week on the Hill — The Kenyon Collegian
Last week, the Cox Health and Counseling Center hosted Sexual Responsibility Week, a series of events designed to encourage sexual health awareness and offer safer sex supplies and resources. The events included a “Safer Sex Supplies and Resources” table in the Peirce Dining Hall atrium, a free STI testing clinic and a Q&A session with Health Center nurse practitioners.
According to Holly Levin, interim director of wellness and associate director of health promotion, the idea came from the fact that “February has always been the month for [National Condom Awareness Day], so we wanted the week to be more broad and talk about multiple areas of sexual responsibility,” Levin wrote in an email to the Collegian.
The Health Center has held similar programs in the past, such as “make your own safer sex kit” and assisting with the “Sex in the Dark” event. According to Levin, there are several STI testing clinics held each semester as well.
The “Safer Sex Supplies and Resources” event on Jan. 29, which was hosted in conjunction with the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, offered information about safe sex and condoms to any students walking through the Peirce atrium. Later that day, students could self-administer STI tests at the Health Center between 3 and 5 p.m. For any students looking to get tested after the event, the Health Center offers STI screening, testing and treatment to all students regularly via appointment.
The third event was “Converse With a Nurse,” held on Jan. 30th from 11:15 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Chalmers Library room 400, hosted by Health Center nurse practitioners. Students in attendance could ask questions about sexual health and wellness during the event, or submit the questions beforehand through an anonymous Google form.
According to Levin, around 40 students participated between all events. She remains optimistic about the future of health and wellness education on the Hill: “Next year, my hope is that the new Peer Health Education program can take the lead on these events. Peer education can be very powerful.” The new Peer Health Educators program will be launched for the 2024-25 academic year. Applications open in mid-to-late February, and students will be selected in April.
“I’m glad we had [Sexual Responsibility Week],” Nina Esteghamat ’27 said. She expressed the importance of hosting sexual awareness events on campus. “It is really important in a small school to have resources like that.”
Another student commented that they wished the events had more publicity, and appreciated Kenyon prioritizing sexual health awareness. “I especially wish that they had better publicized the STI testing, as I think it’s still a very stigmatized concept and many people would benefit from more normalization and education on where and when to get tested at Kenyon,” Mosss Szaraz ’27 said.
Levin finished by saying: “If you ever have any questions about sexual health, please reach out to the Cox Center. We are here to help!”