In Kent, Ohio Kent State University is taking a uniquely candid approach to teaching students about sexual health. Tonight, Michael Lopick lets us in on the informative fun.
Condom balloons, candy and costumes were the stars of this year’s Sextoberfest, the final event in Kent State University’s annual Sex Week. The event, hosted by the Kent Interhall Council and held at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 31, aimed to make the scary subject of sexual health more approachable for students.
With one in four college students being affected by sexually transmitted diseases, the focus of the event was to inform students about the microscopic monsters known as sexually transmitted diseases that lurk in the bedroom.
From condom races, where students competed against one another to see who could put condoms on the most cucumbers in a minute, to dildo ring toss and STD corn hole, the event had a game for every sexual situation. Each of Kent State’s 20 residence halls set up tables in the multipurpose gym of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center with different themes and games, all with the underlying goal of educating students about how they can protect themselves sexually.
Event organizer Emily Nighswander explains how Kent Interhall Council banded together to educate students about sexual health and how they can protect themselves from every college student’s one-night-stand nightmare.
“Every hall council in KIC has its own booth, so usually they come up with a fun game that relates to the theme, but that’s also educational,” she said. “They get to do pretty much whatever they want so they get to use their creativity to teach people anything about sexual health and then we also ask Health Services, the Green Dot Program, Students Against Sexual Assault and other organization from around campus to have a booth as well.”
The various booths put up by Kent State’s residence halls aimed to make the scary subject of sexual health more approachable. Senior Meghan Blaha found that using games to break the tension helped students feel more comfortable and start a conversation about normally hushed topics, such as sexually transmitted diseases.
“It’s great that everyone can come together and make it a fun event, not just ‘I’m going to hear about a lecture and have someone tell me about sex,’” she said. “I can play a game where I’m putting a condom on a cucumber or ring toss, so I think that this is a really great event that KIC puts on.”
Even after Sex Week, Kent State University Health Services provides free, confidential STD and HIV screenings to all students and can be reached at any time for more information, or to address any concerns.