University of Connecticut Student Health and Wellness hopes to raise awareness about safe sex, both physically and mentally, on campus through the UConn Sexperts and through their sexual health program. Nine peer educators, the Sexperts offer multiple opportunities on campus addressing this topic, including education programs and workshops for the UConn community.
“The Sexperts is a diverse group of passionate volunteers who promote sexual health and wellness on campus,” Emma Stierle, a fifth-semester women’s gender and sexuality studies, said in an email correspondence. She serves as the Sexperts workshop development committee chair and GloveBOX coordinator. “In my committee, we focus on creating programs and workshops for the UConn community about sexual health. In our meetings we also facilitate conversations about current sexual health topics and try to integrate our learning into our work. The team environment is also amazing; everyone is supportive, focused on inclusion, and full of amazing ideas on how to serve our fellow students. I am so proud to be a part of such an awesome group!”
Many of the Sexperts’ programs allow clubs or organizations to sign up for training in order to become better educated on the importance of sexual well-being.
“The Sexperts are always looking for opportunities to increase the scope of students we can reach,” Jessie Gentilella, a third-semester human development and family sciences major, said. She serves as the Sexperts’ strategic partnerships committee chair. “We offer collaborative events wherein we work with another group or organization on campus to create
an event that both discusses something sexual health related while combining the interests or needs of the other group. There are so many wonderful on-campus organizations that we work with or would love to work with. For example, we are currently working on putting together a Sexual Health Fair in which we’ll be partnering with organizations from the state of Connecticut as well as within the UConn community.”
GloveBOX, one of the Sexperts’ programs, launched in 2019 and provides students with a box of safe sex supplies. On-campus students have the option to get their box delivered to their dorm mailrooms, while off-campus students can pick up a box on a scheduled pickup date. Cassy Setzler, a health and wellness specialist at Student Health and Wellness, and the staff supervisor of the UConn Sexperts, spoke on the mission of the GloveBOX program.
“Our overarching goal for GloveBOX was to enhance the availability, accessibility and acceptability of safer-sex products at UConn,” Setzler said. So far, the GloveBOX program has filled over 1,000 orders. “We really wanted to provide a service that not only provides quality products for free to students, but also does so in a way that is accessible to all. [We] take students’ varying levels of comfort seeking out supplies into consideration.”
“Be safe and have fun! There’s no right or wrong answer in pleasure just make sure you enjoy yourself!” Shannon Hanggodo, a sixth-semester molecular and cellular biology student, said. She serves as the Sexperts’ campus communications committee chair.
“If anyone is interested in creating a joint event, or even just reaching out to connect, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org,” Gentilella said.