By Kristan Hawkins, president, Students for Life of America
The Students for Life Right to Life group at the University of Utah is outraged over an explicit Sex Week (February 9-15) which is sponsored by the Center for Student Wellness at the University, Students for Choice and Planned Parenthood (of course). The Right to Life group, led by Lauren Keeling and Sullivan Hughes, are asking that the Sex Week agenda be defunded and relocated off campus. They are also petitioning to defund and relocate an April event called Sexapalooza, a carnival-themed day that will take place on campus with vulgar events like a lube tasting booth and a dildo ring toss.
Particularly offensive at Sex Week in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a giveaway for free birth control for a year to some “lucky” winner. Among various birth control items, this could include 365 condoms, an IUD, a vasectomy, or a diaphragm.
From a letter to the Center for Student Wellness at the University of Utah, Lauren and Sullivan write that Sex Week “encourage[s] sexual partners to view each other as objects used for pleasure. Although Right to Life encourages education about sexual intercourse including the issues of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy, we feel that this message of education is being lost in the immature nature of Sex Week.”
The Right to Life group is also angry that the events during Sex Week aren’t helpful in preventing sexual assault and advocating sexual responsibility but rather, it “gives horny students an opportunity to become even hornier yet it does not offer any condolences to victims nor aid for future victims.”
As of today, Sex Week is still scheduled to take place next week on the University of Utah campus.
The letter below was sent to the Center for Student Wellness at the University of Utah from Lauren Keeling and Sullivan Hughes:
My name is Lauren Keeling and I am co-president with Sullivan Hughes of the student organization Right to Life. Right to Life is a student run club on the University of Utah campus. Right to Life is a Pro-Life club that strives to inform students and young people on the alternative options to abortion. It is our goal to show young men and women that abortion is not the only solution to an unplanned pregnancy. Right to Life partners with Students for Life of America to help struggling couples and/or single women throughout the pregnancy and early childhood development process via education, donations, and service.
We recently discovered that the club Students for Choice is hosting an event called Sex Week on the University of Utah campus. We are petitioning to have this event defunded and relocated off campus. Sex Week is not an appropriate event to have on a college campus. Right to Life recognizes abortion as a choice for pregnant women and the Students for Choice club as a legitimate organization, but we do not agree with the way this event promotes sex as a meaningless act of pleasure with no consequences. Sex, in its very biology, is intended for the procreation of children, and although this act has become more common between young people, the odds that a women will become pregnant following a sexual encounter are between 15-25%. This number seems low, but 4 in 10 of these pregnancies end in abortion. 18% of United States women that have an abortion are teenagers. An event such as Sex Week promotes sex and although free condoms will be provided at this event, condoms are only effective 85% of the time which means that 15% of the time sexual intercourse with a condom will result in an unplanned pregnancy.
The events at Sex Week encourage sexual partners to view each other as objects used for pleasure. Although Right to Life encourages education about sexual intercourse including the issues of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancy, we feel that this message of education is being lost in the immature nature of Sex Week. Sex Week will feature a giveaway that will reward one “lucky” person a free year of birth control. These birth control options were outlined in the latest Students for Choice email and are limited to those offered at Planned Parenthood, but choices include: 365 condoms, a 12-month supply of pills, 1 Intra-Uterine Device (IUD), 4 Depo-Provera shots, 1 Diaphragm, 1 vasectomy, 12 NuvaRings, 52 OrthoEvra patches, information on Fertility Awareness Methods, or 1 Implanon. Right to Life understands that birth control pills may be used for medical reasons other than contraception, but we feel that a giveaway of this nature is promoting wanton and negligent sex among University of Utah students. In addition to this obscene giveaway, Sex Week will also feature multiple discussions on sex including a talk focusing on how to talk to your partners about that thing you like. These talks make the idea of sex a game and suggest that students and young people should take it lightly. The very description of the talks persuade students to experiment with multiple partners. Students for Choice will be tabling during Sex Week. Their table will include items such as condoms, lube, and various other “supplies for sex”. These events are not appropriate for a college campus and although Students for Choice has the right to put them on, they should not be supported by the University of Utah.
In addition to defunding and relocating Sex Week, Right to Life is also petitioning to defund and relocate Students for Choice’s next event that will take place in April. “Sexapalooza” will be a carnival-themed event in the University of Utah Union, during the afternoon with booths each focusing on a different sexual related activities. Although some of these events will be educational, such as a spinning wheel of sexual health facts, others will be crude: lube tasting booth, a dildo ring toss game, and a booth of condoms. More so than focusing on the education of sex and the consequences of imbecilic and puerile sex, this event is encouraging the same thing as Sex Week and should not be allowed to take place on the University of Utah campus.
Every 107 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Of these, 44% are under the age of 18 and 80% are younger than thirty years old. There are 293,000 victims of sexual assault every year 68% of sexual assaults are not reported to police. 98% of rapists will never spend a day in jail or prison. Approximately ⅔ of assaults are committed by someone known to the victim. 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance. 1 in 4 women in college today has been the victim of rape or sexual assault. 5% of these assaults will take place on a college campus. College students are most vulnerable to rape and/or sexual assault during the first few weeks of their freshman and sophomore years. Almost 60% of completed campus rapes occur in the victim’s residence, 31% occur in another residence, and 10% occur in a fraternity house. When questioned, nation-wide, ⅓ of college men reported they would rape a woman if they knew they would not get caught. Right to Life wants to present you with these statistics because none of the events offered during both Sex Week and Sexapalooza touch on these staggering statistics nor encourage sexual assault awareness. If Sex Week is supposed to be an educational event, why are sexual assault and sexual responsibility not the primary focuses? Sex week gives horny students an opportunity to become even hornier yet it does not offer any condolences to victims nor aid for future victims.
Is it appropriate for younger/prospective students to happen upon Sex Week during their tours in February? What kind of impression do you think this gives them about the University of Utah? One thing is certain, it is definitely not an impression of responsibility and maturity.
Right to Life Presidents: Lauren Keeling & Sullivan Hughes