Northwestern jumps up to No. 20 on annual Trojan Sexual Health Report Card

Fathma Rahman, Reporter

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Northwestern moved up 18 spots in its ranking on the 2015 Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, now sitting at No. 20 out of the 140 schools included on the annual report card this year.

Created by Trojan Brand Condoms, the Trojan report card ranks American colleges and universities based on the quality of their sexual health resources offered on campus. NU was ranked 30 of 140 in 2013, but then dropped eight spots to 38 in 2014. This year’s improvement is partly a result of NU’s Center for Awareness, Response and Education program, said Mollie Cahillane, a Medill junior and the director of Sexual Health and Assault Peer Educators.

“We have a really great staff of dedicated people (at CARE) and also very powerful, passionate student groups that do their best with outreach work,” Cahillane said.

Student groups such as SHAPE and Men Against Rape and Sexual Assault, which fall under the umbrella of CARE, were also contributing factors to NU’s ranking. According to Trojan’s report, one of the 11 categories that was considered for grading was lecture/outreach programs and student peer groups for sexual health education.

Ten other categories factored into the ranking, including health center hours of operation, quality of sexual health information, availability and cost of contraception and STI testing on-site.

A recent Trojan Brand Condoms’ study shows that only 41 percent of college-aged adults report that they always use condoms — a point of concern for the company, which said in the report card that they believe America is failing in terms of sexual health. Coming from a high school in the conservative south that did not have a strong sexual education program, Cahillane said she is in agreement that sexual education programs in schools around the country are lacking in quality.

“(Sexual education) is something that is incredibly important — first of all, for preventing disease and infection,” Cahillane said. “But also for empowering individuals and teaching people about healthy and positive sexuality, which is something that is left out of the conversation far too much.”

Twitter: @fathma_rahman