Sex talk educates students

Elizabeth Stoeger, Staff writer

“All About That Bass” welcomed students to Ice Auditorium on the evening of Thursday Oct. 16 for a humorous guide to Homecoming week.
The first slide read “Homecoming 2014: A Survival Guide,” and that’s exactly what it was.

An entertaining, and at times serious, handbook to all that goes on during Homecoming.

Dr. Dawn Graff-Haight, a health education professor at Linfield, began the lecture by assuring the audience that she wasn’t there to prevent them from doing Homecoming activities, just making sure that they have the tools to be safe.

“We’re here to have fun, but we’re also here to get an education and to live,” Graff-Haight said.

She pressed students to party safely all the time, but especially when alcohol is involved.

This means eating before consuming any alcohol, having a designated driver committed to staying sober, and using the buddy system.

She cautioned against drinking too much before the actual party begins.

“Don’t drink so much that when you get to the party you don’t remember the party.”

Her point was hilariously illustrated by an image of a man drinking an enormous Big Gulp, which got big laughs.

It is also important to remember that not every college student drinks alcohol and no one should feel pressured into drinking.

“If you don’t want to be pestered about drinking, you can look like you’re drinking by sticking a straw in a red solo cup and drinking whatever it is that you want to drink,” Graff-Haight advised.

Besides, drinks have “lots of calories too,” joked Graff-Haight.

Underage students tend to overlook the legal ramifications of drinking.

“If you’re a minor and you choose to drink and you’re caught. It’s your consequence. Live with it,” she said.

The age at which it is legal to drink in the state of Oregon is 21.

She went over the three S’s of drinking. Space the drinks out, sip don’t chug, and socialize, do something other than just drinking.

The importance of watching out for others while drinking was emphasized.

If someone is in a compromising situation, intervene.

“You don’t have to be the Caped Crusader and go in there doing karate chop but just be thoughtful,” she explained.

The other half of her lecture focused on how to be safe during a sexual encounter.

How to give consent and what does not constitute consent.

It is not possible to give consent, and is not considered as such, if someone is drunk.

Graff-Haight advised going to Muchas Gracias and eating something and waiting until the alcohol wears off.

If anything looks suspicious at a party, it probably is and even if the person is a stranger, look out for them.

“I’m asking you to look after yourself, but beyond looking after yourself also considering the people around you. Even if you don’t know those people … do the right thing,” Graff-Haight said.

Nearly 100,000 college students are victims of alcohol related date rapes a year, Graff-Haight shared to a suddenly sobered audience.

This was no ordinary teen health lecture, but a practical, down-to-earth one that provided students with tools to safely navigate Homecoming and college life.

If students are ever concerned about their own safety or people they are with they should call College Public Safety at 503-883-7233.