U ranks No. 1 in sexual awareness

The 'U' improved in contraception availablilty according to a Trojan survey.

Tom Moran

Trojan brand condoms’ “Sexual Health Report Card,” released Sept. 10, gave the University a No. 1 ranking in sexual health and awareness.

The survey assigned letter grades in 11 categories to 139 colleges and universities. The University had a cumulative grade point average of 3.91 for the report card, and moved up 54 positions from last year in the second annual survey.

According to the survey, the areas in which the University improved since last year were condom and contraception availability and the presence of anonymous advice. The survey gave the University failing grades in those areas last year.

Eli Coleman, University director of the Program in Human Sexuality, said he was very proud of the University’s achievement.

Coleman said even though the University ranked highest, it should continue to improve the sexual health and awareness on campus.

“We always need to do more,” Coleman said.

The University gives out 100,000 condoms on campus each year, Dave Dorman, a health educator at Boynton Health Service, said.

Dorman said the University didn’t change its practices from last year’s; instead the way data was collected was adjusted.

“I’m not sure of the validity, but it is nice to be recognized,” he said.

Dorman credited the University’s success to the cooperation between Boynton and other programs.

The Aurora Center, student groups and health advocates all do their part, he said.

He said the University emphasizes abstinence as well as safe sex.

One of every six students at the University chooses abstinence, he said.

Joe Lai, a junior microbiology student, is a health advocate in Middlebrook Hall.

Advocates are trained throughout the year in a wide range of health topics concerning students, including sexual health, Lai said.

Health advocates have medication and contraception available for students free of charge.

Lai said he has only seen a few visitors this year, but heard that some health advocates have been busier.

“A girl living in the superblock has already given out over 200 condoms,” Lai said.

Survey expanded

The survey was conducted by Sperling’s BestPlaces on behalf of Trojan.

Jim Daniels, vice president of marketing for Trojan brand condoms, said in a press release that the survey is issued to help schools focus on areas to improve and celebrate their areas of success.

“The fact is, college students are at serious risk for STIs and unplanned pregnancies,” Daniels said.

The survey was expanded from 100 to 139 colleges and universities this year. Four categories for grading were added to bring the total from seven to 11.

The survey information was gathered by telephone and through e-mail interviews with each school’s student health center.

Opinion surveys were given to 3,300 students across the country, but those results didn’t factor into the rankings.

According to the press release, 53 percent of students said their health centers could improve and 66 percent said their centers were doing a good job.

Thirty-two percent of respondents said they wouldn’t consider going to their health center for health concerns.

Five other Big Ten universities made the top 25 on the survey. They include Purdue University (5), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (14), Penn State University (19), the University of Iowa (21) and the University of Michigan (23).