A new class has been started at Pacific University and it’s creating a lot of buzz. Presented by the gender and sexuality studies department, GSS 355, or using multimedia for sexual health promotion, the goal is to educate students about the positive and nega- tive effects of the media on the issues of sexuality and sexual health. However, what makes this class unique is that it puts students in charge of imple- menting a campaign that pro- motes sexuality in a healthy, safe way.
“Students learn how to use multiple media for sexual health promotion by having an experience doing just that,” said professor Angela Towne. “This is a student-led, student- created health campaign.”
Towne calls the class “ex- periential,” which means it is designed to “engage student interest and empower and mo- tivate students.” Her intent for students to discover their voice through media has not gone
unnoticed by the Pacific Uni- versity population.
The class is separated into four student-led groups, each dealing with various sex- related topics.
One group started a radio show, called “Let’s Get it On,” which broadcasted on boxer- radio.fm on Sundays at 6 p.m. Ranging from topics such as foreplay and sex toys, to porn and fake orgasms, the show has garnered praise for its no- holds-barred take on sex and its hilarious commentary.
Another group put up posters around campus, fea- turing slogans such as “CPS isn’t the only protection on campus” and “Protection is sexy” while showing mem- bers of Pacific University, from CPS officers to athletes, hold- ing packages of condoms. The “condom campaign” came together in a tabling event in the UC, where it attracted hun- dreds of curious bystanders in just a few hours.
The third group started a Facebook page, titled “Stop Hate Pacific.” The page fo- cused on issues affecting those who live various sexual life- styles, such as the LGBTQA
and kink community, which deviates from the precon- ceived idea of “traditional sex.” The page racked up 174 likes and still counting. The fourth group held a week-long tabling event on body image, complete with posters, videos, counseling forms and candy. It dealt with the media’s percep- tion and manipulation of body ideals for men and women, covering a range of topics from Photoshop editing to plastic surgery.
When asked about why the topic of sexual health and media is so important, Towne discussed the incessant and harmful nature in which sexu- ality is presented.
“A lot of the media rep- resentations, in my opinion, are really repressive,” said Towne. “Only about one per- cent of all the 14,000 sexual scenes that a person sees in a year have any information about safer sex, or consent, or any information about re- sponsibility or consequences whatsoever.”
Towne recently received approval for the course to count toward Civic Engage- ment Credit.
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