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Having “The Talk” Across Campus

“Let’s Talk about Sex” was the theme of the Week Two (Sept. 21) Community Reflection in Stetson Chapel. Co-sponsored by the Counseling Center, the reflection aimed to raise awareness about fostering communication, creating healthy relationships, and sexual encounters.

Director of Counseling Pat Ponto spoke first, announcing third and fourth week “Sex Weeks” featuring various forums discussing sexual health and social issues in K dorms. Ponto says working in the counseling center has offered her insight into the student’s perspective concerning sex. She says the two keys to good sexual experiences are intentionality and transparency. Counseling Center Psychologist Deb Rose said she wanted to debunk the myth “There’s no such thing as bad sex.”

Allie VanHeest ’13 introduced the new student group S3A, the Sexual Safety and Support Alliance. The team of six female K students provides a confidential peer-to-peer support network especially meat to help those affected by sexual assault. “I’m excited by the simple fact that this alliance now exists. To be a part of this group of women is even more empowering for me,” she said. Sexual Health Awareness Group’s Co-President Colin Cepuran ’13 delivered a speech about opening up conversational space surrounding sex culture at K. “We need virgins, introverts, party animals, first-years, seniors, and all the rest of you to be able to talk about their sexual needs,” he said. “Acceptance is rooted in understanding.”

Rachael La Barbera ’15, Craig Isser ’13, and Counseling Psychologist and Training Director Danielle Standish spoke about their respective experiences attempting to relate to K’s “hookup culture,” receiving a sexual education, and finding fulfillment within a marital relationship. Finally, Counseling Center Clinical Director Alan Hill informed the audience about an upcoming discussion he will be leading about men and sex. Attendees received copies of the Sexual Health Bill of Rights brochure.

Community Reflection offers a unique forum for discussion, worship, performance, and community expression each Friday at 10:50 AM (refreshments at 10:30) in Stetson Chapel. The entire campus community and general public are invited. The next reflection will be held on Friday of Week Three, (September 28), entitled “Perspectives on Sukkot: Celebrating a Quest for Solace and Community.” Co-sponsored by the K Jewish Student Organization, the event will celebrate Sukkot, a pilgrimage festival. JSO members will reflect on the importance of this festival in the faith and the metaphors it provides for creating a dwelling place in our own pilgrimage towards maturity and self-awareness. [Story and photo by Elaine Ezekiel ’13]

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