Recently there have been numerous events on campus focusing on mental and sexual health, which we at **The Lawrentian** applaud and support. It is encouraging to see the Lawrence community engage with difficult and sometimes sensitive issues in an informative and compassionate way.
These events include Take Back the Night, sponsored by the Downer Feminist Council; Can I Kiss You?, sponsored by Campus Life, Sexual Assault Crisis Center of the Fox Valley, LUCC, OMA, DFC, SHARB, WelLU and GLOW; SOAR, an event focusing on body image; was sponsored by Delta Gamma and Panhel; To Write Love On Her Arms and QPR training.
However, several of these presentations were under-attended, despite being widely advertised on campus. These were all great events that could have benefited many more people, had attendance been higher.
Despite being at Lawrence, a seemingly open community, we at **The Lawrentian** suspect that poor attendance at these events was in part due to a perceived stigma surrounding their topics.
Students who chose not to attend may have been concerned that they would be judged for taking part in an event regarding mental or sexual health — maybe that they would be put into the category of having experienced one of these issues.
We would like to stress that attendance at an event does not correspond to having personally experienced the topic covered by the event — and we think this fear is without basis. If students don’t attend events because of this concern, they just perpetuate the stigma or fear concerning the topics of mental or sexual health.
We would like to remind the student body that these events are open to all students, whether or not they have experienced mental or sexual health crises. Students who are curious, or concerned for a friend, are equally welcome to attend these events and programs.