Sammy Dallal / Colorado Daily file photo
Allie McKnight and Kaela Joseph put together sexual health kits for CU’s Wardenburg Health Center.

Did you know?

The 1991 Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to publish an annual crime report, keep a public crime log and disclose their security policies. The Clery Act also requires colleges and universities to provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime that poses an immediate threat.

The University of Colorado reported seven sex offenses in 2012, the most recent data released by the university on crimes.

More info on the Clery Act at CU: http://police.colorado.edu/records-reports/clery-act-and-campus-security-authorities.

Sex happens.

If it doesn’t happen, hey, that’s OK, too.

No matter where you are on the experience spectrum, educating yourself about sexual health, consent, sexual identity, how to talk with your partner and where to go for campus resources should be at the top of your priority list when you step on campus this fall.

The University of Colorado Wardenburg Health Center takes a sex-positive approach to teaching and talking about sex, which means that in the eyes of the health center, sex and sexuality are good things, not bad ones. Talking openly about sex and sexuality can lead to better sex, fewer sexually transmitted infections and fewer incidents of sexual assault.

Here are a few places to go on campus to learn more about sexual health, assault and identity.

Sexual health

It’s a good idea to start talking with your doctor or health practitioner about your sexual behavior and activity if you aren’t already doing so. Not only can your practitioner recommend what type of birth control you or your partner might consider using, but they can help you decide if you’re at risk for sexually transmitted infections and whether or not you should be tested.

You can get tested on campus at Wardenburg, and most testing is covered by university health plans. Talk with your doctor about what types of sexually transmitted infections you could be at risk for before you make an appointment to get tested.

Another place to check out is the CU’s Women’s Resource Center, which despite the name serves all student. The center offers free condoms and pregnancy tests for students, according to associate director Hannah Wilks. They offer condoms because they know students are having sex and want protection to be convenient, and pregnancy tests because they’re expensive and can be intimidating.

“We provide pregnancy tests because it’s a judgement-free zone,” Wilks said. “It’s a secular way to give out a resource that costs students a lot of money.”

The health center at CU also offers annual exams, contraception and emergency contraception, counseling, pregnancy tests and more. If you’re not comfortable seeing a doctor or health professional on campus, there are plenty of off-campus options, such as Planned Parenthood, Boulder Valley Women’s Health, Boulder County Public Health and plenty of private physicians to choose from in the area.

Sexual assault

Sexual assault can happen to anyone — men, women, transgender, gay, straight, it doesn’t matter. And as you probably already know, most sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows, according to statistics from the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. We’re not talking about a stranger in a dark alley here.

The CU Office of Victim Assistance defines consent as both parties actively and freely engaging in sexual contact. This office advocates for enthusiastic consent (yes please!), which also means that the absence of “no” does not mean it’s OK to move forward.

If you feel you may have been sexually assaulted, there are tons of actions you can take, if you choose to. You can do nothing at all. You can confide in a close friend or family member. You can report your incident anonymously, chat with a counselor or access other support services at CU’s Office of Victim Assistance. You can talk to someone in the Counseling and Psychological Services office. You can report the assault to the CU Police Department without having to move forward with an investigation or litigation.

For a full list of resources, go to http://cuvictimassistance.com/.

Sexual identity

Maybe you’re questioning your sexual identity or you just want to chat with someone about the GLBTQ community on campus.

The Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer Resource Center at CU is an awesome resource for talking about, learning about and exploring sexual identity.

The center provides educational and social programming for the GLBTQ community (and allies) on campus, while also acting as an advocacy group and voice for equal rights.

For more information, visit http://colorado.edu/GLBTQRC/.

Contact Camera Staff Writer Sarah Kuta at 303-473-1106 or kutas@dailycamera.com

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