Gianna Hayes, Contributing Writer
Many students showed up to the residential quad eager to receive a variety of goodies and learn more about sexual safety on and off-campus at Sex on the Quad last Friday, Sept. 23. Some tables at the event offered condoms and dental dams, while others offered pop-its and play-dough. The condom fairy with their sparkly wings and vibrant tutu even made an appearance by the mocktail table, dishing out delicious non-alcoholic beverages.
There were a variety of tables representing different services to students at the College, including the Longbrake Student Wellness Center, the Queer Trans People of Color (QTPOC) club and the Sexual Respect Coalition (SRC). Information about sexual safety was readily available, with different tables talking about STI and STD awareness and testing, mental health resources, the importance of consent in all scenarios and LGBTQ+ friendly spaces.
In addition to on-campus resources, there were tables set up to talk to students about off-campus resources such as the Viola Startzman Clinic and OneEighty. Nurses with the Viola Startzman Clinic talked to students about the importance of consent, saying that “consent should be informed, [each partner] should know what they are consenting to.”
Student assistants with the Longbrake Student Wellness Center were also present, participating with sexual health trivia for students, asking questions like “does birth control like IUDs or the implant prevent STDs?” For some, these questions may seem like no-brainers; however, some students came to Sex on the Quad with very little knowledge about sex and sexual safety or believing common misconceptions regarding these important topics. This is exactly why events like these, which raise sexual health awareness, are needed.
Nora Sublett ’26, with the SRC, stated that they “feel that sex should be something that is just talked about, not something taboo. The Sexual Respect Coalition promotes it being an open conversation to everyone with respect to all.” A lot of the SRC’s focus is on creating a safe space for discussion about sexual health and awareness, especially when it comes to queer sex. Partnering with the Sexuality and Gender Inclusion branch of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI), the SRC will be hosting Queer Sex-Ed on Wednesday, Oct. 19, so be sure to look out for more information about that as it approaches!
The Longbrake Student Wellness Center also had a table on mental health resources, sharing information about counseling, crisis lines and their Let’s Talk sessions, which are 15 minute confidential consultations with a counselor. These can be used to talk about anything from personal mental health issues to academic burnout or just to rant. Look for the yellow and red Let’s Talk posters to set up an appointment! The Longbrake StudentWellness Center also handed out bamboo plants for students to take home as a way to promote positivity and wellbeing.
One of the most important conversations to arise out of Sex on the Quad regarded the importance of consent. Many of the tables at the event were adamantly campaigning for and raising awareness about consent. As one of the most important components of sexual activity, it’s important that the campus community is aware of what consent is, how to ask for it and what exactly an individual is consenting to. Madeline Fields Halva ’26, who attended the event, said “[consent] is an important topic, because consenting adults can have sex, but defining ‘consenting adults’ can be challenging especially with the state of sex-ed across the country and internationally. I think it’s an important way of saying these are our values as a community, here’s how we live that out, and here are your resources.”
As a campus, we wish to give a huge thanks to everyone involved in putting on Sex on the Quad and raising awareness about sexual wellbeing, especially the SRC, CDI and the Longbrake Student Wellness Center. These are all conversations that need to be had on a daily basis, which this event reminded us of.