By Brennen Hubbard – [email protected] – Staff Writer
Underdog Productions gears up for back-to-back lectures, including a talk called “Best Sex Ever” by Laci Green in the Grotto at 7 p.m. tonight.
According to Allie Meyer, vice president of Underdog Productions, student organizations work to provide co-curricular education on campus by hosting informative events.
“In this day and age, schools don’t even want to teach you about sex, and I think she’s (Green) trying to reinvent it and look at sex in more of a positive light,” she said. “People should be proud. It’s not something that people should be humiliated about or self-conscious.”
According to her website, Green makes videos on her YouTube channel called “Sex+,” where she answers both common and uncommon questions about sex.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, birth rates among women ages 15-19 are on a downward trend. In 2011, North Carolina’s, as well as most other Southern states, birth rate was 34.9 percent, 3.6 percent higher than the national average.
Hannah Rohed, an event coordinator for Underdog Productions, said this is no coincidence.
“Younger students are typically less educated about sex, because we live in the South and the education system here is not very good at teaching us about sex,” she said. “People like Laci Green could really help get kids to know about things they would not normally know about.”
Across UNC Asheville’s campus, student organizations use Valentine’s Day as a way to educate students on safer sex practices. According to the Charlotte native, these programs are a great way to get students to talk openly about sex during the rest of the year.
“UNCA is a more liberal campus and the sexual atmosphere here is more open,” Rohed said. “I think that it helps educate people on things they wouldn’t normally talk about. She goes there.”
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, only 22 states require sex education in public schools. North Carolina’s policy requires parental permission before students can enter these courses, and according to Meyer, this is a huge part of the problem.
“The idea that if you don’t educate them, then they just won’t, is a faulty idea,” Rohed said. “I went to high school with kids who thought they could get pregnant off of a toilet seat.”
According to its website, the health and counseling center at UNCA provides free STI testing to students once per semester.
Meyer said she recognizes students are not always willing to take advantage of these services.
“They try to have STD testing, but no one wants to go,” the 21-year-old said.
According to Claire Brame, promotions manager for Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership and Underdog Productions, Green’s method is more effective than picking up a pamphlet in a doctor’s office, because the pressure is relieved.
“She’s young and energetic and fun and people are more willing to listen to advice and information about sex if it’s more light-hearted, but the facts are still there,” she said. “That is more entertaining and more people would be interested in hearing that rather than facts and scary warnings about things.”
Meyer said student organizations have the power to supplement education on campus by putting on educational events people will want to attend.
Brame said the responsibility does not stop with just providing program; it is important to ensure students will want to attend and participate.
“If you find the right people to come to campus or the right events to put on relating to sex education or just education in general, as long as they are fun and entertaining and can catch people’s attention, those are gonna be more effective,” she said. “Possibly when they don’t even know it, when they’re just having fun.”
All three students said they agree events like the Laci Green lecture are important to the campus community, but Rohed said she is just excited Green is going to be on campus.
“I’m really excited to attend this event, because I’m a huge fan of Laci Green and her message,” she said. “It’s a huge deal.”