LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Sexual literacy still part of FIU’s curriculum

Sofia Pablos-Aguirre

Office of Health Promotion

Healthy Living Program, MMC

NOTE: This letter is written in response to the editorial “Sexual literacy is a necessity,” published on February 9, 2017.

Sexual Literacy, while not a required part of FIU’s curriculum, is by no means absent.

Many students’ first contact with their healthcare services occurs at Freshman Orientation. The 2013 original skit was designed to introduce students to the health-related departments and campus resources. The time allotted for these presentations is insufficient to address issues such as consent and LGBTQA narratives.

In order to give these issues the appropriate consideration and weight, Counseling and Psychological Services conducts educational events, consultations, and classroom presentations/ workshops, during which consent and LGBTQA narratives are addressed at length.

The Victim Empowerment Program works tirelessly to educate FIU about the It’s On Us campaign, whose focus is on prevention, bystander intervention, and resources for victims.

At Student Health Services, students can discuss sexual health, safer sex practices, and birth control options with a licensed medical professional. There is also access to low-cost STD/STI testing.

The Healthy Living Program offers a variety of programming on sexual literacy. Sexual Health appointments cover STD’s/ STI’s and prevention methods. Free, confidential HIV testing with a certified counselor is also available. Free safer sex materials are distributed at HLP events and presentations, and are free at the HLP offices.

Additionally, HLP offers presentations and workshops. This is especially true for Freshman Experience classes, where professors request presentations on any number of topics, including Sexual Health. The presentations are in-depth, touching upon important aspects of sexual health, including consent, safer sex tools, and an overview of STD’s/STI’s.

FIU SALSA and FIU Bridge provide in-classroom education and conduct tabling throughout FIU. FIU’s MPAS LGBTQA works with the LGBTQA student population by “developing and implementing educational, social, and resource programs and services.”

The FIU Women’s Center hosts Take Back the Night “to promote awareness about the issues of sexual assault and intimate partner/gender-based violence on college campuses.”

Insofar as the HLP’s genital-shaped costumes are concerned, we will say this: Gina and Rick, as they are known, are a part of HLP’s health-education culture. These “comical” costumes allow staff to break down barriers with humor. Rick and Gina foster the possibility of an open conversation about sexual health, breaking the taboo- and they’re not going away any time soon.  

While it’s beyond these department’s capabilities to mandate that FIU integrate sexual literacy and LGBTQA-specific information into the curriculum, they will continue to provide students thorough, factual, and non-judgmental sexual literacy education.

 

DISCLAIMER:

Letters to the Editor are not written by Panther Press Staff. They are submitted by readers of Panther Press. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

 

Image retrieved from Flickr.