Upcoming ‘Sex Week’ at University of Utah sparks debate on campus

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Does an upcoming event at the University of Utah encourage students to see each other as sex objects? One student groups feels that way, and they’ve asked the school to pull funding for “Sex Week.”

Sex Week is scheduled to get underway Monday at the U of U, and it will include a panel discussion about sexy communication, a film screening and a drawing for a year’s supply of birth control.

Natalie Green, President of Students for Choice, said, “ We promote education and awareness.”

Her group planned the university’s first ever Sex Week, and they patterned their event on similar events held at schools like Harvard.

“We promote healthy contraception, and so there will be condoms present,” Green said.

Panel discussions are planned, and so is a screening of the film “Obvious Child.”

“She chooses what's best for her and her life at that moment, and it is to have an abortion,” Green said of the film.

FOX 13 News spoke with students about the upcoming Sex Week.

Student Parker Scott said he thinks the flier gives off a pro-sex vibe, which is something he said he is OK with.

“Yeah, I mean, obviously everyone in college, we're over 18, we're adults, we can make our own decisions,” he said.

Cedar Gonzales, another student, spoke to the educational value of Sex Week.

“We're adults,” she said. “We need to be informed. We need to be smart about our decisions, and a lot of the time you don't get that in high school.”

Other students took a different view, and the co-presidents of a new group at the U of U called Right to Life said they believe Sex Week sends a dangerous message.

“Twenty-five percent of people are going to conceive a child when they have sex, and you have to understand those risks and be prepared in case it happens,” said Lauren Keeling, Right to Life co-president.

As the name implies, Right to Life favors adoption over abortion.

“You don't have to end the life of your child,” Keeling said.

The group has called on the university to either cancel Sex Week, or relocate it.

“Planned Parenthood is partnering with them, so we thought maybe rather than have it on the University of Utah campus, they could have it at Planned Parenthood,” said Sullivan Hughes, Students for Life co-president.

Green said she believes the event has a place on campus.

“I think that we are meeting a need on campus, and we followed the processes and protocols of the university, and I stand behind our event,” she said.

Members of Students for Choice said they're not interested in cancelling or moving, and the university says they won’t have to.

“Students for Choice went through the appropriate channels to get funded, and those include peer review from their fellow students,” said Katie Stiel, who manages programs for the Center for Student Wellness at U of U.

The Right to Life group has asked to put up a display at the wellness center during Sex Week in order to share their message, and that request has been granted.


    • miles (dave)

      are you sure its taxes? im more likely to think it would be the tuition money from the students. but honestly theirs a good chance you know more about this than me.

      anyway im all for education on the subject but it sounds to me like this event is pointed less about education and more about advertising for sleeping together.

      for me its much easier to respect people who dont sleep around. i naturally view people who are not easy as being more mature, its easier for me to think they have there act together. it dosnt make it a 100% of the time thing but when i think of this college advertising sleeping together i feel they are encouraging those students to be less mature about the subject rather than just educating them.

      id think if they were really educating about it they wouldnt have the condom give away and “sexy communication” panel, thats a little less education and more advertisement, and encouragement to sleep around and like the story said ” encourage students to see each other as sleeping together objects.”

    • John

      Yes bob. Education is a horrible thing. I am sure the cost of a condom is much more expensive than an unwanted pregnancy. Great point!

  • Stinky Pete

    Haha, Right to Life group.

    Typical we state data that has no factual evidence behind it! Just like their other right wing conservative counterparts.

  • solargroovy

    What kind of silly, vapid comment is “Twenty-five percent of people are going to conceive a child when they have sex”?

    Maybe they should include a rudimentary session on the birds, bees, and ovulation

  • jen

    If the school has this much money perhaps it would be better spent lowering tuition fees. if they are just allowing the use of the facility and not funding, what is the problem? Education is always a good thing as long as the opposing views are also allowed equal time. Without the other sides point of view it looses all creditability of education and becomes propaganda.

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