Sexual Health Week

The Tool Shed’s Education Coordinator Lucky Tomaszek leads a sex toy workshop as part of Sexual Health and Awareness Week.
Photo by Hitkarsh Chanana

This past week, from April 18 to 22, was Sexual Health and Awareness Week. The week was the product of multiple organizations collaborating. There were various tabling events during this week, from several organizations such as the American Medical Students Association (AMSA), NeuroLawrence and the Downer Feminist Council (DFC). Other events were hosted by College Democrats, Student Alliance against Sexual Harassment and Assault (SAASHA), Gay, Lesbian, or Whatever (GLOW), GlobeMed and Lawrence University Sexual Health (LUSH). The week culminated in Concert for Consent, which was held in the Wriston Amphitheater last Friday night.

This past Monday, College Democrats hosted a panel with Appleton Representative of Assembly District 57 Amanda Stuck, who talked about different laws and bills preventing women’s health, and what legislation she is currently attempting to pass in Madison. Junior and founder of LUSH Erin MacLaughlin said that “this event was particularly wonderful because it allowed me to see that there are people from Appleton who are representing us, and also fighting for us and what we believe in.”

SAASHA hosted Bystander Intervention Training, on Tuesday. MacLaughlin “thought it was a great place to talk with my peers about topics like rape culture. That session covered so much information that is relevant to us as human beings. It was particularly wonderful because everyone was so respectful and willing to participate, which was refreshing to see on this campus.”

A sex toy workshop was held on Wednesday, aimed at breaking down the stigma of self-love, and also taught safety tips for use of the various options for consensual sex.

Thursday was an event hosted by GlobeMed called “Docutoppers.” During this event, there was a screening of the film “Everybody’s Doing It”—a satire about teens in schools with abstinence-only sex education curriculums. MacLaughlin said that she found this discussion and film very helpful because “it helped reveal the different types of education people have had regarding sex, and brought up the question of judging those based on the number of sexual partners they have had. Seeing the film made me see the different backgrounds that fellow Lawrence students have been in.”

LUSH hosted the Concert for Consent, where three campus bands played—Wild Firth, DJ CRME SCNE and Broken Mandolins—played. There was a spelling bee in between bands in which those who could correctly spell an STI from a list got a free t-shirt. Free stickers and Planned Parenthood merchandise, as well as condoms, were also available.

Sophomore Rachel Taber was in charge of this event, and credits the idea to Senior Sarah Bonoff. Taber said, “The Concert for Consent was a sort of mass effort in order to increase dialogue on sexual policy and help celebrate consent.”

Both Taber and MacLaughlin expressed surprise at the success of LUSH’s event, as the club is fairly new, and are eager for next year’s projects. MacLaughlin echoed Taber’s statements, and added that she was thankful to all of the bands that performed, saying, “They had a fantastic message to impart.”