Office of Health Promotion Hosts Sexual Health Awareness Month this February
The Office of Health Promotion (OHP) is holding Syracuse University’s first Sexual Health Awareness Month throughout the month of February, calling it Frisky February. Working in collaboration with many student organizations, University offices, community partners and the OHP Peer Educators Encouraging Healthy Relationships and Sexuality (PEEHRS), there are events all month long to encourage positive discussion about a subject many would like to know more about.
For Michelle Goode, OHP’s health promotion specialist focused on sexual and relationship violence prevention, the decision to focus on sexual health is one that “Everyone wants to learn more about but has historically been taboo. Sex and sexuality are normal and natural parts of everyone’s life and there are so many ways that someone can have healthy expressions of sexual health.” Frisky February is all about getting “sex-positive messaging out, since sexual health is a topic that is not talked about much,” says Goode.
One of the events that will help get sex-positive messaging out is Sex in the Dark on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Grant Auditorium. Sex in the Dark is a glow in the dark-themed sexual health panel discussion with “sexperts” from the Syracuse University community. Students can get ready to glow in neon swag during this event as well!
“We are really excited to host this event and hope that students will feel more comfortable with the lights out to learn more about any sex questions they have not been able to ask before,” says Goode.
On why now is the right time to engage the campus community with Frisky February, Kristelle Aisaka, the OHP’s health promotion specialist focused on mental health says, “Frisky February helps us to bridge a gap and talk about sex, sexuality and sexual health in a fun and positive way, while making sure that students have access to the accurate and important health knowledge they need to have safe, healthy and enjoyable sexual experiences, when or if they choose to.”
Although OHP is one of the major organizers of Frisky February, it’s a community effort. The student organizations, community partners and offices that are partnering to hold different events, including ACR Health, Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Tau Omega, Bedsider, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Femme Noire, Health Services, Onondaga County Health Department, Orange After Dark, SASSE, Sex S.Y.M.B.A.L.S. and SUNY Upstate Medical University, are all contributing to bridge the knowledge gap.
For Aisaka, Frisky February is just the beginning. “This is a first step in building longer-lasting collaborative relationships with organizations, offices and departments across campus so that we can have more ongoing education and outreach related to sexual health,” she says.
For a full listing of all the events, check out the Sexual Health Awareness Month calendar.