Students need to practice safe sex

By Kim Randall

It is vital for college students to have safe and educated sex.

National Condom Week is observed this week to promote safe sex and educate young adults about the health risks that accompany unprotected sex.

This week helps to promote the idea of safe sex, and it helps reiterate a great point for students in ensuring they are staying in good sexual health overall.

College is a time of preparation, learning and independence. Let’s not forget a lot more tends to go on beyond the classroom. College students typically go out on weekends to relieve stress and to have a good time; however, sometimes the decisions made to enjoy such “good times” aren’t always the best.

C’mon, let’s face it: Sex plays a role in many of the lives of college students. If abstinence isn’t the primary choice being made then it is best to ensure sexual activity is being done safely and wisely to avoid unplanned pregnancy, STIs and STDs.

You never know what can happen. With parties and meeting people all of the time, things can get out of hand. You need to make sure you are taking proper precautions.

“The best ways to stay healthy are, first, being selective with partners and making sure both you and [your] partner are tested,” said Matt Wittrup, public health and health education professor.

There’s no reason to feel embarrassment. We’re adults; therefore, we must advocate for our health.

“Research shows that college-aged people are meeting people primarily through hooking up with people that they do not know,” said Kristen Myers, director of women’s studies. “Also, other studies show that, statistically, almost every person who is sexually active will experience contracting an STD. So, you really have to make sure that both you and the person you are intimate with are being safe.”

There are ways to ensure you’re practicing safe sex and good sexual health on campus.

Health Enhancement offers students up to 10 condoms in the Chick Evans Field House per visit along with informative pamphlets that educate a person about sex.

You can also visit Health Services for men’s and women’s services, like STI prevention, screenings and contraception options.

“Condoms are a great starting point, but you should also make sure you are going to your doctor for check-ups,” Myers said. “Take advantage of shots that can help you to prevent diseases and illness transmitted sexually.”

Practice safe sex and use the resources at NIU to ensure you are taking precautions. It is important to make appointments regularly for checkups and screenings.

Don’t let your fun time turn into a world of turmoil because you didn’t choose safe sex.