Although the Student Health Advocacy Group (SHAG) is mostly known for distributing condoms on campus, last week, SHAG demonstrated that they do much more.
SHAG week events included two film showings, a healthy mocktail night and a trip to the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University, as well as the ASAP forum on Wednesday, which SHAG co-sponsored with many other student organizations.
To start off the week, SHAG showed “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” Although the film was graphic and shocking to some people, it brought up important issues.
“It was definitely intense…it did bring a lot of important parts of society into view,” said junior Claire Turner, who attended the movie.
SHAG co-president and senior Arianna Timko said, “Discussions were difficult because the film was more jarring than [most people] thought it was going to be.”
The film screenings, which took place at The Center in Galesburg, served to “get kids involved in the community,” said senior co-president Gabe Paz. SHAG members were excited that community members came to the showing as well.
The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), of which Timko is a member, gave SHAG the film and discussion questions. Knox was one of hundreds of campuses across the country to show the film.
“It was cool to be able to do it with a national organization,” Timko said.
Although the Mocktail night on Wednesday was “kind of a flop,” according to Paz, it was successfully rescheduled for the following Monday. According to Timko, there were a lot of events on Wednesday and the group received several e-mails asking them to change the time.
The group hoped to raise student awareness of SHAG with the mocktail event.
“It seems like something people would want to do,” said sophomore Victoria Klimaj, a product distributor for SHAG. “Especially during finals,” sophomore Allister Byrd, another product distributor, added.
Junior Diana Preshad enjoyed the mocktails.
“I really liked the monkeylada,” she said.
Preshad also appreciated the zine with recipes that SHAG distributed. “It would be something interesting to do with my family.”
SHAG began planning their trip to The Kinsey Institute since last year. The five students on the trip saw an exhibit on pregnancy and reproduction in the Kinsey Institute Gallery and went on a tour with Erick Janssen, Associate Scientist and Director of Education & Research Training at the institute.
Janssen took the students to his lab and they got to see parts of the institute unavailable to most visitors.
“It was really neat to see the lab,” Klimaj said, who also appreciated seeing the names of the people whose articles she read in her human sexuality class.
SHAG members said that the week was generally very successful. It was “a reminder that SHAG doesn’t only give you condoms,” Paz said.
According to Paz, SHAG is “a group of students that advocate good health,” including physical, emotional and sexual health.
Health is “something that affects everyone,” Byrd said, “a lot of information gets distributed through SHAG.”
SHAG has been very important in the history of health at Knox. According to Timko, the club was very influential in getting the health center on campus.
“I don’t know what people would do [without the health center],” Timko said.
SHAG is looking forward to bringing in a sex-related speaker this spring.