Peer Resource promotes sexual education with Wellness Center’s help

Melissa Block

On Wednesday, Jan. 24, Peer Resource offered a condom certification program for students at Leadership’s semiannual Club Day in the small gym. A table was set up with informative brochures and models designed to raise awareness about sexual education to the student body.

Wellness Center coordinator Jen Kenny-Baum explained that students often feel more comfortable hearing about these subjects from their peers rather than from an adult.

“Wellness partners with Peer Resource by bringing education to students through other students,” Kenny-Baum said. “One of the things we do is we go in and provide intensive education to Peer Resource around sexual health, and then have them teach other students, primarily about being educated and safe in sexual practices.”

Peer Resource student, junior Katie Donick, described the challenges that come from teaching her peers sex-ed.

“People are shy at first just because of the stigma around holding a wooden penis, but once they get over that, they get into it. And it’s a good resource to have,” Donick said.

Donick believes it is important for students to take advantage of these resources as they are free and readily available at student’s discretion.

“We want to make sure Redwood is well-educated on sex education and they know how to be safe to prevent from getting STIs, STDs and unwanted pregnancies. It’s a sexually active community, and we want everyone to know it’s accepted, but to be safe and smart about it,” Donick said.

This past Friday, Jan. 26, the Wellness Center partnered with the Marin Community Clinic in San Rafael and hosted a sexual health clinic on campus. They invited a nurse practitioner and her team to provide sexual health services for students. This event has occurred roughly twice a month since September of 2016.

“[Students] come in and receive services that are free and confidential, and it could be related to pregnancy tests, STI tests, treatments and any birth controls too,” Kenny-Baum said.

Having a free sexual health clinic on campus provides students with the opportunity to ask confidential questions and gain valuable advice from a professional. In addition to the presence of a professional on campus, Kenny-Baum emphasized the importance of having students participate in educating their peers.

“For some people they are always going to feel more comfortable doing a condom education one-on-one, and never at a big table,” Kenny-Baum said. “Some people are the opposite, and so I think it’s nice to have both. Obviously we get higher numbers of people when we do a big event or are out in groups because you hit more people.”