Bringin’ sexy (education) back

Continuing a five-year tradition, this year’s Sexfest was, without a doubt, bangin’. The event was attended by excited students who grabbed free condoms, gave lap dances and generally reveled in the sexually-charged atmosphere.

Sexfest took place in the Travers/Wolfe main lounge on Sept. 28 and was funded by the Residence Hall Association. The lounge filled with music as students of various organizations came out to relay their message to the student body.

The primary goal of Sexfest was to inform the students that “they can have safe sex and the campus has resources available to them,” Aida Figueroa, senior women’s and gender studies and psychology major, said. The coordinators of this program “wanted to inform the freshmen about the resources available regarding sex education, abuse and sexual health,” Figeuroa added.

To ensure that this would not be a lecture, the organizers, who were all Community Advisors, divided the program into sections. A student from each organization spoke for a few minutes, and then invited the students to engage in games and to explore the booths.

Many organizations attracted students to their booths by offering prizes and souvenirs such as condoms, toys and treats.

Voices of Planned Parenthood (Vox) offered “Pin the Condom on the Penis,” a new spin on the traditional childhood game.

“You just had unprotected sex!” Erica Jungels, freshman sociology major, exclaimed after her friend pinned the condom on a limb.

Vox wanted to “provide availability of health care and reproductive rights and emphasize pro-choice,” Vice President Kari Osmond, sophomore women’s and gender studies and political science major, said. “We also work together with Trenton and Mercer County Planned Parenthood and it is great that we are able to get this information out there.”

PRISM (a group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight students) President Noel Ramirez, senior communication studies and women’s and gender studies major, involved the crowd by asking questions such as: “How many of you know a gay person? How many of you know a straight person?” The students unanimously answered “yes,” and Ramirez also introduced a new method for individuals uncomfortable with their sexuality to talk to someone through an anonymous AOL Instant Messenger screen name: thehaven.

Student Anti-Violence Education wanted to “promote awareness to intimate partner violence,” Jenna Myerberg, sophomore psychology major, said.

Passion Parties, a sex toy company, offered a gift basket with sex toys, cleansers and sensitizers for the winner of the raffle.

The office of Health Services, represented by nurse practitioner GeorgeAnn O’Leary, offered a game of wheel of fortune with categories such as risks, protection, expressions of love and affection and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The nurse would ask a specific question pertaining to that topic, and the student who answered correctly received a carnation. The purpose of the game was to “educate and provide information regarding STIs and preventions,” O’Leary said.

While students came to Sexfest for various reasons, most agreed that they were glad that they came out and learned a lot.

“I’m having fun and it’s a good cause,” Jessica Leeds, freshman English major, said. “It is very informative and fun at the same time.”