“Sex in the Dark” event helps educate students

By Lisa Lillianstrom

NIU Housing hosted  Sex In The Dark Oct. 16 in the New Orleans Room located in Stevenson North Residence Hall to promote sex education among students.

The event was informative and needed, as there may be some college students who don’t have knowledge on certain topics about sex. Some students who may have not have had sex education in high school still need to learn about safe sex.

The event itself had a mostly positive response, with a decent turnout of at least twenty to thirty people.

“I thought it was important for the Stevenson population,” graduate adult and higher education major, Payton Albrecht, who is also director of Stevenson Residence Hall, said. “From my perspective, I don’t see a lot of sex education happening on campus at this capacity. [The event] is anonymous, [and] students are able to ask whatever question they want without worrying about who is going to judge them.”

The event had six panelists, which consisted of graduate students, NIU employees and DeKalb employees. Students were able to submit questions anonymously ,and the panelists were then able to answer those questions in a dimly lit room to provide an ambiance and more anonymity.

Among the topics discussed was LGBTQ+ sex, a topic not highly discussed among sex education classes. Some of the panelists included Caitlin Sharkey, a graduate political science and philosophy major who is part of the LGBTQ+ community.

“LGBTQ+ sex has a lot of questions around it, and getting as much visibility out there as possible is super important,” Sharkey said. “A lot of people come out in college, and this is their first LGBTQ+ experience, and they don’t know anything. So, to come to these events and have someone who has had that experience help them through it rather than going in blind is a key experience to have.”

When everyone asked the questions, the panelists did their best to answer, and students were not afraid to ask questions.

Events like this were made to educate those who may not have much knowledge on sex, as well as those who may struggle talking about this topic following recent events such as the Kavanaugh hearings.

NIU Spokesperson Joe King said events such as these are spurred from the Kavanaugh hearings to help students cope with the recent events. This is NIU’s way of allowing students to talk about these topics in a safe space. NIU is also hosting Sex-cessful Conversations from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 in DuSable 340.

“Students aren’t really getting a lot of sex education outside of school, so if we can reinforce that [sex education], we can give information where students may not have had it, and they feel comfortable asking us questions,” Betty Madison, graduate student and panelist, said.

Sex education is needed on campus, and students need to know how to have safe sex and be educated. Whether they have had sex education prior to attending NIU, it is important for students to attend these types of events.