Temple’s first-ever Sexual Awareness Week is set to take place in April.
In an attempt to give the university a fresh perspective on sex-related issues, Temple Student Government Senator for the College of Liberal Arts Eva Alkasov, a junior political science and sociology major, is organizing Temple’s first-ever Sexual Awareness Week.
The event will run from April 5 through April 9, with activities from noon to 3 p.m. each day at the Bell Tower, followed by further events from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Student Center.
Partially funded by TSG, Sexual Awareness Week intends to raise awareness of a number of different sexuality and sex issues facing college students.
“I’m trying to embrace sexuality,” Alkasov said. “I think [the event] could be something that everyone could learn from each other about.”
Alkasov said she hopes to promote safe sex and encourage students to get tested for different sexually transmitted diseases.
“I think it’s really important because we’re at a time when people are dying of sex [related diseases] … and we’re at an age when many are sexually active,” Alkasov said.
While similar one-time lectures often take place throughout Main Campus, Alkasov said she felt creating a weeklong event would help to truly get the message across.
“We hear a lot about statistics, but it never really hits hard. It could very well happen to [anyone],” she added.
Alkasov said she plans for condoms and other “goodies” to be distributed during the events, which will include interactive games, speakers and discussions.
Although planning is in its early stages, Sexual Awareness week is gaining plenty of on-campus support. Along with TSG, the College Democrats, Queer Student Union and Health Education Awareness Resource Team are all prepping to take part.
Each day will present a theme to the university community, a specific sex-related topic on which the events will focus. The five themes are: STDs, AIDS, sexual orientation, healthy relationships and pleasure and understanding.
QSU Vice President Katie Hinchey, a sophomore women’s gender and sexuality studies major, said QSU’s main focus is on the sexual orientation day, scheduled for April 9.
“We definitely wanted to make sure LGBTQ was involved in it,” Hinchey said.
QSU is making plans to host workshops throughout the day, followed by its evening event, a panel discussion on what it means to be LGBTQ.
Hinchey went on to describe the “heteronormative” nature of Temple and said she hopes students will become more LGBTQ aware as a result of the event. She is also looking forward to QSU becoming a more visible organization on campus following its participation in the event.
“I hope to start working on where the missing pieces are and how we can fix them,” she said.
Alkasov also contacted College Democrats Event Coordinator Tekara Gainey, a junior anthropology major, who quickly jumped on board for the event.
Gainey said the organization is making plans to discuss sex not only in relation to governmental and educational policies, but further into cultural aspects of the topic as well.
“I hope that people will have a greater appreciation for sex … not just as an act,” Gainey said.
While the College Democrats don’t yet have specific events organized, members plan to take on one day’s specific themes as a focus.
“We’re working on ideas regarding sex policies in education,” said Gainey, referring to sexual education not only at a college level but in middle and high school as well.
Alkasov, the brains behind the week-long event, said she is in the process of finalizing plans, which are expected to be completed soon. In the meantime, she and organizers will advertise Sexual Awareness Week through fliers, posters and a video aimed at informing the community on the event.
“I think it would [be effective], honestly. I remember last semester, they didn’t do it for a whole week, but they did some events, and they had a pretty good turnout. Anything is good with effective promotion,” Astin Sullivan, a sophomore film and media arts major, said. “Even if it’s educational, college students like talking about sex.”
Angelo Fichera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.