Troy creates new sexual education programs

Cassie Gibbs
News Editor

Troy University was recently ranked in the bottom 10 universities in the nation regarding sexual health, but it is expanding its sexual education programs.

Trey Stewart, a senior English major from Birmingham, said that this makes sense because he was not aware of what Troy offered to teach students about sexual health.

“I have heard information about sexual health, but as far as any actions or programs available, there isn’t anything around here that I know about,” Stewart said. “Everything I’ve learned is from talking to my friends and self-research.”

Trojan brand condoms’ Sexual Health Report, made with information gathered by the independent survey company Sperling’s Best Places, ranks colleges based on accessibility of health resources and sexual health information that is made available to students.

Herbert Reeves, dean of student services, said that it is not clear exactly how many people are surveyed or what the questions are for the survey.

“We don’t know how many people they survey,” Reeves said. “They never share that with us. It could be one person that they surveyed. I don’t know what the validity of the data compiled is. I’ve never seen a copy of the survey, and they haven’t sent us a copy when we’ve asked.”

In response to the availability of information, Reeves said that there are now five peer educators that actively educate the students of Troy.

“This year, one of the newest things we have is a group of peer educators that go out to organizations and residence halls and provide workshops and information about many topics, including sexual health.”

This is the first semester that peer educators have been implemented on campus. They are a group of five students, overseen by Shane Tatum, the coordinator of facilities and recreation, that are connected to the student services department’s health and wellness program.

“Honestly, a lot of the time, students receive things a lot better from other students than if I were to stand up and tell them what they should or should not do,” Reeves said.

There are also limited resources and information about sexual health available through the student health center and student counseling services.

The health center has testing available to students if they feel that they need to be tested for a sexually transmitted disease, according to Reeves. Condoms and informational pamphlets are also available at the health center.

No one at the health center was unavailable for information or comment.

The counseling center, according to Reeves, offers more information about sexual assault awareness.

“It’s (sexual health information) will be primarily in those three areas, the peer educators, the health center and the counseling center,” Reeves said.

While most of the education and contraception available on campus is more geared toward men, Reeves said that the university is hoping to expand the sexual health education on campus by setting up a one-day a week women’s education clinic. The clinic would be set up through Troy Regional Medical Center and would be led by David Delaney, a Troy-based obstetrician and gynecologist.

Though there are other schools that ranked higher than Troy on Trojan’s Report Card, Reeves said that there is always room for any school’s sexual education programs to grow.

“Even if you have the most robust program for sexual health awareness, you can always do more,” Reeves said.

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