Addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health on College Campuses


Addressing Sexual and Reproductive Health on College Campuses

by Sarah Ashley Jolly, MPH
April 24, 2019
An aerial view of a college campus

College campuses present a unique environment to address sexual and reproductive health with students. Campus life is saturated with students who are interested and engaged with movements that have been given a place in the national spotlight, such as the Me-Too movement, highlighting the pervasive culture of sexual assault on college campuses. Though with a following among academic, scientific, and some popular media outlets, the incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) across the United States has yet to gain its own movement.

What makes campuses unique is not unlike what defines the American landscape when it comes to sexual health and education. Each state has regulations guiding the structure and implementation of sex (and in many cases abstinence-only) education models. What this means is that each student has different levels of knowledge about sex, consent, and STIs. Some could argue that this population is primed to have informed, meaningful discussions about sex and that the perfect place for sex education is college campuses. While we think you should start early and talk often, we are proud to support continuing conversations on college campuses.

Bedsider U seeks to listen to students, so that our programs can meet them where they are, while providing the tools to mobilize and activate existing campus communities. We aim to spark and encourage continuous action and dialogue among students on topics relating to sexual and reproductive health.

a picture of the table at the Coastal Carolina University

Recently, Coastal Carolina University hosted a table at the school’s annual Wellness Palooza. Students covered a chalkboard with reasons why they were thankful for birth control. Before the end of the day, the board was plastered with reasons ranging from “helps me manage my pain,” to “safer/healthier sex life.” Bedsider U Reps followed this event by passing out condoms and hosting a trivia on the lawn of the campus.

If you are a college student or in connection with campus organizations, we invite you to join the Bedsider U community to stay up to date with opportunities, news, and exclusive contests that encourage students to start and continue conversations and activities to address sexual and reproductive health on campuses around the country. You can find our community here.