By Megan Palumbo & Holly Feola – Co-Editor-in-Chief & 1851 Staff
On March 19, Fenway Health held a “Safer Sex Decathlon” in Arnow Campus Center to educate students about safe sex and different sexualities through 10 short activities.
The event was organized by Assistant Director of the Donahue Institute Thomas Morgan. It started with Fenway Health representatives introducing themselves and giving a presentation before the activities started, so everyone would have a baseline of knowledge.
The last time Fenway Health visited campus was in 2017. Morgan participated in last event that Fenway held in de Witt and remembered it being very enjoyable. He was excited when they contacted him asking if they could return to campus again.
In comparison to the last time they visited, Recruitment Operations Lead at Fenway Community Kathleen Bailey thought that Arnow “… was a much better setting and really more intimate.”
Morgan’s goal was to create a more relaxed atmosphere. After the event he shared,
“I’m glad we did it [in Arnow]. I think it al- lowed people to just be more comfortable, be more outgoing, volunteer for answering things, or participating in the activities more.”
Some of the topics discussed in the presentation were the differences between sex and gender, consent, social determinants, and health disparities.
Shortly after the presentation, the attendees split into teams to compete in 10 activities related to general sexual health knowledge and some of the information covered earlier.
The activities allowed students to learn more about sexual health in a comfortable setting outside of the classroom. One activity recognizing microaggressions encouraged students to identify what qualities a microaggression.
Other exercises that were part of the sex decathlon were identifying the different LGBTQIA+ flags, trying to name as many STI’s as possible and brainstorming ways to give consent to someone. The activities were enjoyable and had students laughing while
touching on important sexual health topics. Bailey expressed how happy they were to be engaging with the Lasell community and educating them on topics related to HIV/ AIDS and LGBTQ+ health. “We want to have a place that’s fun and interactive to talk about sex especially in the context of LGBTQ+ communities,” Bailey said.
As PRIDE club advisor and coordinator for this event, Morgan said, “I was hoping students would take something new but I think the bigger goal [is] the comfort piece and that students would gain a sense of comfort and confidence talking about sexual health and advocating for their own sexual health.”
The students attending the workshop were already very knowledgeable of Fenway Health and were eager to play the sex-ed games. Sophomore sociology major Allison Smith attended as a member of Peer Health and said, “I want to go into sex education as a career and Fenway Health I think does really good work, so I was interested in going one of their events and seeing what they did.”
Sophomore fashion design and production major Dylan Alves decided to participate in the sex decathlon to gain more knowledge about safe sex. When asked what he got out of the event Alves said, “More in- formation about the health side about LG- BTQ+. More interesting facts and especially when it comes to transgender health and all that and especially for Fenway Health that is a very healthy organization.”
“I personally learned about the different pride flags that there are and more education on just the things that come with sex in general,” Smith said.
Morgan wants the students who weren’t able to attend to know, “You’re not alone in whatever it is that you are thinking about or worried about. There are other people that are also nervous to talk, nervous to share and nervous to ask questions so you will be in a very supportive environment in a safe space where people want to help learn and grow.”