February: a month of romance, love and sex. During the second week of February (the 10th-14th), Tulane’s campus will be hosting Sex Week — a week full of comprehensive and inclusive conversations, programs and events about sex-positivity and health. It’s no secret that the sexual climate at Tulane is concerning. In January of 2018, it was publicized that two in every five undergraduate women at Tulane, or forty-one percent, have reported they have suffered from a sexual assault since becoming a student. Sex Week is a powerful and fun way to raise awareness for these important conversations that need to be had.

These programs have been creatively brought to fruition by organizations all across campus ranging from student organizations to academic departments and student affairs. Students have teamed up to create and publish a Sex Week Zine — a self-made magazine — and a month-long display in the library that will showcase books covering topics such as sexual identity and sexual health. The week will consist of 16 workshops ranging from film showings, to discussions covering topics such as Mindful Masturbation, and even a burlesque show right here on campus! Not to mention most of the workshops offer free swag and free food… what more could you ask for?

Sex Week provides necessary sexual health education that, unfortunately, many undergraduate students didn’t receive in high school. In a conversation with the Assistant Director of Health Promotion and Sexual Violence Prevention, Jennifer Hunt, I was astonished by the fact that the CDC cites the average American high school student undergoes less than 11 hours of sexual-health education throughout their four years of high school. This enables Tulane students, let alone thousands of college students across the country, to practice unhealthy sex habits. Sex Week aims to acknowledge this disparity and talk about it in a way that is inclusive for everyone on this campus.

The LGBTQ community is a huge part of the conversation Sex Week is planning to bring to Tulane. LGBTQ students themselves report that there is a lack of a safe, reliable and credible space for them to learn about the practice of healthy sex. This, in turn, leads to the reliance on quick Google searches and disreputable sources for necessary sexual health information. Sex Week tackles this and faces it head on with programs that everyone on campus can benefit and learn from.

Sex Week, although on Tulane’s campus for the first time this semester, is gaining popularity at colleges across the country. Schools including Dillard University of New Orleans, Harvard and Yale have also participated in Sex Week programming as a form of advocacy for a sexual health discussion. This year’s Sex Week is to be the first of an annual event. Kate Kushner, an undergraduate student at Tulane, is the Sex Week Coordinator and can be credited with a tremendous amount of work that has gone into creating this year’s agenda. Kushner participates and advocates for sexual violence prevention on campus and created the idea of bringing a Sex Week to Tulane. She works on everything from the development of the initial idea, to marketing Sex Week and coordinating each event. She is a huge force in reforming the conversation about sexual health and identity on Tulane’s campus.

Visit Sex Week’s website to get a closer look into the incredible speakers and events that have been planned. Let’s let February be a month full of flowers, chocolate and healthy conversations about sex!

Cover Photo: Campus Health