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10-01-07, 12:00 AM #1
University of Northern Colorado Housing Department Director nixes campus sex toy slumber party
The University of Northern Colorado housing department director threw cold water -- but just a splash -- on a steamy series of sex-oriented talks and games this week at Harrison Hall.
The nixing of Saturday's sex-toy slumber party, which was advertised as being for girls only, takes some of the momentum out of "A Week of Hot Sex," as the five-part (now four) series is billed on signs in the residence hall. It started Monday night in the Harrison lobby with a 30-minute session of massage techniques led by a certified therapist.
Joshua Roth, a freshman who lives in Harrison, attended the massage session along with about 30 other students. He planned to go to other events, including an oral sex workshop today and condom bingo on Sunday.
"I think it's awesome," Roth said. "I think it's a great way to promote safe, fun and consensual sex."
He said he learned "cool" and "safe" techniques at Monday's session. "It's just a very honest educational program."
Tobias Guzmán, executive director of auxiliary and student services, oversees the UNC residence halls and their 60 staff members. Residence advisers are required to do educational, diversity and social-service-type programs each year, he said. Not every program outline comes by his desk, he noted, as RAs work in tandem with hall directors and housing associates.
"Just as we have programs about alcohol and drug use, (programs on) something sexual in nature are important as well," Guzmán said. "That's why this one stretched me a little bit because it had a little bit more than that."
Specifically, the Saturday program to be hosted by Slumber Parties Inc., a national company that sets up parties where sex toys are displayed and sold, gave him pause.
"We probably should have given a little bit better guidance on the slumber party and the no-boys-allowed piece. It's not in line with what I feel ... is appropriate for programming for students," Guzmán said. "It's not a conservative view. I don't think any group should be excluded, and I don't think we should invite a corporation to come in and solicit a product to students."
As for the oral sex workshop, a talk with hall staff satisfied him that the sessions -- teased in a flier as "Want to know exactly how to make it feel great? Get practice at the oral sex workshop" -- would include instruction about using condoms and dental dams as health precautions.
"If we don't educate them, are they ever going to get that or learn about that," he said.
The series was not advertised on fliers at the University Center, but it's been listed in event calendars circulated to students.
An RA at Harrison came up with the idea for the series, which is funded through the housing department's programming operations budget. Neither the RA nor the hall director returned calls seeking comment.
Guzmán said hall programs need to be handled with sensitivity so as not to offend students. He said his staff has not fielded any complaints about "Week of Hot Sex." He noted that condom bingo, which has an educational component, has been played on college campuses for 20 years, since AIDS emerged as a health issue in the mid-1980s.
Aside from the sex-toy party, the programming is fairly typical, Guzmán said. "The other stuff -- I have been in higher education as an administrator of housing for about 15 years -- and at every institution I've worked at, yes, it's pretty common."
At Harrison, a few students said, it's been the talk of the dorm. "If people want to go, that's cool," said Lacey Nolen, a freshman. "It's a personal thing."
Jordan Callier, a graduate assistant in the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Office at UNC, said his office supplied condoms, dental dams and information about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases to the Harrison staff. With HIV cases on the rise in the region's gay community, he said, programs such as the dorm's are helpful.
"They're being blunt about the topics and I think that's great," Callier said. "A lot of times these programs beat around the bush and they don't cut to the chase. ... They wanted to be edgier."
10-01-07, 08:39 AM #2PeterJasonMN Guest"...and I don't think we should invite a corporation to come in and solicit a product to students."
$5 says if you go to the bookstore and buy books, they throw in an insert for credit cards and magazines though. And that especially the first week of school, the main commons area is filled with tables for banks and other services.
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