Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Sex week promises discourse about intercourse

Starting Monday, Northwestern Sex Week will bring sex out of the sheets and up for discussion.

Sex Week, a satellite group of College Feminists, is partnering with a variety of other student groups to host events such as film screenings, a slam poetry session and workshops to open conversation about sex and sexuality, said Nicole Collins, executive director of Sex Week.

“Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to bliss in sexuality,” said Collins, a cartoonist for The Daily. “Sex Week is about learning about sex in a public forum in order to make informed decisions between you and your own sex life and sexuality.”

Sex Week does not affiliate with any specific ideology other than to promote healthy sexuality, the definition of which varies on an individual basis, the Weinberg senior said.

Presenters will include Andrea Bartz and Brenna Ehrlich of the blog and book “Stuff Hipsters Hate” discussing dating habits of hipsters, and award-winning playwright Cameryn Moore who will perform the one-act play “Phone Whore.” Additional events throughout the week include an erotic bake-off, a Sexiest Student Contest and a Spring Sexpo, a sexual health resources and career fair. Discussions will be held with multiple professors, such as Human Sexuality prof. John Michael Bailey, and speakers, such as Father John Kartje of the Sheil Catholic Center at NU.

Organizers originally planned to include a presentation about Bailey’s controversial class demonstration during Winter Quarter, but after meeting with Dean of Students Burgwell Howard, they reached a mutual decision that the panel would not prompt a “good conversation,” Collins said.

Because Sex Week is a student group, it has a lot of freedom as to the events it can plan, Collins said. She approached Howard for a meeting to run all events by him because of the fallout from the controversy, but he made few suggestions for change, she said.

Sex Week began in 2007, when alumna Stella Fayman was shocked by the low turnout and awkwardness while discussing contraceptives at a Sexual Health & Assault Peer Educators meeting, Collins said. Sex Week has since given out thousands of condoms and hosted many events, she said.

Sex can be awkward to talk about, depending on with whom the conversation is, said McCormick freshman Zach Rachlin, citing the media uproar over the presentation for Bailey’s class as an example.

“It’s just something you don’t talk about with your child or kids don’t want to talk about it with parents,” Rachlin said. “It’s just hidden away.”

Publicity chair Emily Scherker said she hopes Sex Week will make sex less taboo.

“I hope (students) feel more comfortable talking about sex and sexuality and feel empowered to learn even more,” the Communication senior said.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Sex week promises discourse about intercourse