Students were encouraged to discuss and create open dialogue about sex at Get It On on Wednesday, an event hosted by Cosmopolitan magazine in the Satellite Student Union.
The event included a panel and information about topics such as sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies and sexual assault prevention. Among the panelists were Kelly Mickle, a Cosmopolitan magazine editor and writer; Kathy Yarmo, a Fresno State health and wellness promotion coordinator; and moderator Amanda Seales, a comedian and host who has been on VH1 and MTV.
Fresno State was one of three schools chosen to host such events through a partnership between the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Cosmopolitan magazine. The university was listed as a host of the event in November’s Cosmopolitan issue, alongside a 12-page spread about STD testing, sexual health and consent.
Pedro Elias, director of public affairs at Fresno’s Planned Parenthood, said “we want to make sure folks have a safe and comfortable space to be able to talk about that.”
“We want to make sure students are aware of it,” he said. “Especially with the change and implementation of laws such as ‘yes means yes’ and making sure that we also talk about sexual assault on campus and bring that awareness to the campus.”
Cecilia Knadler, club president of People Organized for Women’s Empowerment and Representation, said there is a need of trying to change our culture from that of a rape culture to a consent culture.
“We want all the sex that is had, to be all the sex that is wanted,” Knadler said.
Elias said students should also come to such events in order to speak and hear others talk about sex.
“We want to make sure students have an opportunity to ask questions and feel comfortable to talk about sensitive issues like this, because for some folks it is sensitive,” he said.
Daniella Parra, a member of P.O.W.E.R. and senior liberal and women’s studies double major, said such dialogue is important “whether you choose to have sex or choose not to have sex.”
Society needs to stop sweeping dialogue about sex under the rug, and people need to be educated on all the options they have, she said.
Knadler said it is important for students to talk openly about sex because the majority of unwanted pregnancies and sexual assaults occur to young people aged 18 to 25.
“We are at a very vulnerable age and a very vulnerable place,” Knadler said.
Gaining knowledge about our sexual health and the resources available starts on campus because “what we learn for ourselves is also what we will be teaching our children,” she said.