U blows sexual health report card

The University, one of the 140 schools ranked this year, fell 58 spots to 68th.

by Jia Guo

The University of Minnesota dropped from 10th to 68th in this yearâÄôs Trojan Sexual Health Report Card.

The report, based on accessibility of sexual health resources and information to students, ranks 140 colleges and universities across the nation.

Ranking is based on 13 categories like student opinion of the schoolâÄôs health center and accessibility for drop-ins and appointments, said Bert Sperling, researcher with SperlingâÄôs Best Places, which conducted the survey.

He said the team also considers the amount of sexual health information the school provides and the cost of the contraceptives available to students.

Sperling said the UniversityâÄôs website lacks easily accessible information.

He also said that itâÄôs hard to find information on the UniversityâÄôs website about where students should go to if they have been sexually assaulted in the moment of crisis.

âÄúThe only thing is there isnâÄôt any column on the school newspaper or whatever that provides sexual health information or discusses sexual health issues,âÄù Sperling said, increasingly college campuses have sexual health columns that are popular and widely read.

The University does provide services for victims of sexual assault through the Aurora Center.

Sexual Health Awareness and Disease Education at Boynton Health Service is the main resource for sexual health concerns and education on campus.

Danielle LeVasseur, a coordinator for the group, said SHADE provides educational programs for student sexual health. The group also distributes free condoms and provides free HIV tests.

LeVasseur said in an email she is skeptical about the results in the report, since the services the school provides do not drastically change year to year âÄî but the report varies annually.

âÄúThis report âĦ seems more like a marketing deal for Trojan than an actual scientific review of University sexual health programs,âÄù she said. âÄúThe report is not of high importance to us due to our random placement throughout the years.âÄù

SHADEâÄôs website lists a number of programs aiming at educating people on how to have healthy sex including âÄúSex Talks & Blow Pops,âÄù âÄúRed RocketâÄù and three specialty programs on sexual pleasure, contraception and communication.

Bruce Tetreault, a group product manager for Trojan, said the point behind the report is to raise awareness of sexual health among college students because the U.S. is not a sexually healthy country.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 65 million people have an incurable sexually transmitted disease, accounting for 21 percent of the U.S. population. One in four people under the age of 25 are affected.

Tetreault said the report lets young people know that there are resources available to promote sexual health and raise their sexual health awareness.

But he also said the low ranking the University received did not necessarily mean that the school moved backward in its promotion of sexual health information for students.

Tetreault said because other universities are making greater progress in promoting sexual health, the University might seem to lag behind far from them even though it has made progress.