Campus / News / October 19, 2011

Pro-choice group emerges on campus

Although they are a new club on campus, Advocates for Choice, a pro-choice club that promotes safe sexual lifestyles and sex education, is busy making big plans that could potentially have far-reaching effects, according to club officials.

Advocates for Choice (AFC) was started primarily by senior Vicky Mei, who is now the club president, after spending the summer interning at Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood hopes to raise awareness on college campuses about the importance of reproductive health, which encouraged Mei’s idea to start such a club on her own campus.

Mei explained that senior Lauren Greve had a similar club idea, so they found each other and started recruiting more members for Advocates for Choice.

“I was originally going to try to do a sex column for TKS in general, and I got really busy and side tracked,” Greve said. “Then Vicky contacted me and told me about the club and if I was interested in being an editor for that and maybe getting a column up and running … that was connected to AFC and I said sure.”

In the near future, AFC hopes to get the campus more involved by setting up boxes around campus to drop questions in and starting a blog that discusses common sexual health issues.

“I just want to help encourage a healthy pro-sex attitude on campus that you can be comfortable with your body, you can express yourself and if you have questions about it, you should ask about it and not feel ashamed or embarrassed because it’s probably something all of us have felt or struggled with,” Greve said.

According to Mei, they are planning some potentially eyebrow-raising events around Halloween, such as a man dressed as a condom passing out candy or condoms, or putting club information and condoms in campus mailboxes.

Mei and Greve are also hoping to discuss with club members some possible suggestions to add to the upcoming Comprehensive Sex Education Bill, which they do not completely agree with.

Mei would like to brainstorm some additional ideas that could offer more clarity toward the bill and offer them to Planned Parenthood.

The bill under discussion is proposing an age appropriate abstinence-emphasized sex education for public schools that choose to have sex education. If the bill is passed, it would provide a comprehensive curriculum to participating schools.

However, Advocates for Choice leaders Mei, Greve and club secretary junior Tina Shuey hope to discuss several key concepts that are part of the bill, such as the fact that it is an abstinence-stressed program.

“I think something that’s really missing is sex education is the emotional ties that all people have and how that’s okay and how you should deal with that,” Shuey said. “If you choose to be abstinent that’s totally fine. You just need to know what non-abstinence entails.”

Mei explained that based on a poll performed earlier this term, abstinence emphasized programs do not make an impact on students of the target age group between 12 and 18 years and do not change their behavior, even coupled with comprehensive sex education.

“It’s about letting people know that sex is a social issue rather than just a physical and health issue,” Mei said.

Kayla Anderson

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