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Due to the change in the Navigating Health Services theme, Bwog was briefly under the alarming impression that consent was no longer sexy. To our great relief we confirmed today that consent is, in fact, sexy. Still. And… exhale!

Proving that the Health Services team is an upbeat, if maybe not particularly creative bunch, today’s Navigating Health Services event kicked off with an energetic performance of the same eyeroll-inducingly twee (but very informative!) play that was performed last year and probably every year before then as well. With a wholesome cast of characters including one named Denise (is this the default name for all Columbians these days?), the kids new students learned all about things which many had never encountered before: masturbation and S & M, for instance. (And also Primary Care and ASAP and all that stuff.)

After the hour-long show—or before, depending on the OL group—all the orange-clad mama and papa Orientation ducks led their baby ducklings to various social areas around Columbia and Barnard. These included Lerner Party Space and the Diana Center (which one Columbia student “ha[d] never heard of”). It was time for a presentation by the sexual health peer educators, also known as the Keepers of the Sexy.

To everyone’s delight, ice was broken not with a round of Elephant Master or Two Truths and a Lie—what kind of sexual health forum would that be?—but with the Penis Game, an old classic. Then, students participated in an exercise which involved writing down a definition of “hookup” on a slip of paper, sticking the paper into a balloon, blowing up the balloon, playing balloon-catch, popping the balloon, and reading someone else’s definition of “hookup.” After the students had been sufficiently distracted, the leaders recaptured their focus by shouting, “Penis!”—because apparently no other word is as consistently effective at getting a freshman’s attention. (Bwog would have been fine with “Shh,” but hey, whatever.)

Finally, everyone discussed body language and personal boundaries. The event ended with a large container of Purell for balloon-spit, courtesy of one of the peer educators. Hey, personal hygiene is sexy!

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  1. zip  

    i think it's odd that students from the various cultural backgrounds that Columbia draws from are all subjected to a presentation like this. seems insensitive...

  2. Consent Facilitator checking in  

    Just because you come from a culturally and religiously conservative country does not give you a free pass for understanding what to do in emergency situations. It might not be you, it might be your roommate or a best friend, and having this knowledge (if imparted to you correctly) will make a world of a difference when someone is in crisis.

    • I agree  

      Just because you came from a conservative background does not mean that you aren't going to experiment given your new freedoms at college, and in that case, you are less likely to understand what is going on, and more in need of this program.

      It's like if you came from that tiny town where dancing is illegal in Footloose, you'd go to a party, try to dance, and hurt yourself if you didn't have dance lessons first.

    • can you say

      straw man? No one was disputing the need for all students to know what to do in an emergency situation. I don't quite see how chasing hookup balloons is going to facilitate new students gaining that knowledge...

      • zip  

        yup, agree with this. crisis training is what it is, so is, but i don't think that's what some of the antics in this workshop boils down to, and i bet it sucks for a lot of first-years. no pun intended obviously

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