Kalamazoo College's Student Newspaper
By Mallika Mitra Contributor
It’s giggled about in elementary school, whispered about in middle school, and joked about in high school–but sex is discussed openly at Kalamazoo College. Monday marked the start of “Sex Week”, which was filled with informational forums and discussions regarding sex.
“I think in our current community and culture, we’re becoming more invested in providing students an opportunity to address issues of sexuality in a more comprehensible way,” Sheets said. “At K, we are able to create some dialogue for students which, in my opinion, helps to counteract some heterosexism that exists in our society.”
The first event was an informal discussion entitled “Queer Sex”, led by Ray Sheets Jr. of the counseling center. The discussion consisted of questions about how queer sex is perceived, how young people learn about queer sex, and why many people feel uncomfortable talking about queer sex.
“Sex Week” continued the following day with “Multicultural Perspectives on Sex”, a forum about the relationship between race and sexual relationships. The discussion began with the question “What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘sex’?” and touched on issues such as racial boundaries and cultural norms concerning dating.
Savanna Chambers ’11 agrees with the faculty that having discussions like this are beneficial to the students at K. “I think it’s important to talk about these sorts of things but people feel uncomfortable talking about them for fear of being judged or ostracized,” said Chambers.
The school’s Sexual Safety and Support Alliance (S3A) ran the “Sex Week” event held on Thursday. The forum, entitled “Consent is Sexy!” allowed students to discuss the definition of the word “consent”, and what it means to them personally. Ideas came up concerning respect and the importance of listening to one another.
Although some may feel embarrassed discussing something so personal, the faculty and students appreciate how important it is for young adults to have a safe place to learn about and discuss sex and sexuality.
“It makes everyone more comfortable,” said Hannah Daly ’13, a member of S3A. “It makes being open the norm.”