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Sexual Health Groups Kick Off Sexual Assault Awareness Month

More than 100 students flocked to Boylston Hall for giveaways and sexual health-themed activities Friday evening as part of a kick-off event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Dubbed the “Sexuality, Health, Intimacy, Partnership Party,” or SHIP Party, the event marked Response Peer Counseling’s first annual kick-off event for a month of anti-sexual assault programming. The group collaborated with other sexual health and peer counseling groups, which held smaller educational workshops at the party.

Activities included trivia on sexual health, workshops on gender and sexuality, giveaways, and a photo booth where attendees could take pictures and reflect on the different “-ships” they value in their lives.

Emily R. Zoffer ’17, a Response peer counselor, said organizers of the event “wanted to focus on the fact that it’s not just relationships, not just romantic relationships, any type of relationship counts and is valid and important.”

Representatives from the different co-sponsoring organizations said they found the kick-off an opportunity to spread awareness of Harvard’s sexual health resources.

“I think it’s a great way to reach out to the Harvard population," Emmalie A. Langan ’18, a Contact Peer Counseling member, said. "We are always interested in making sure especially first-years, but all the way up, know about the counseling resources as well as educational resources on campus.”

Lita D. Peña ’19, co-president of Sexual Health Education And Advocacy Throughout Harvard College, agreed.

“We all have the same goal in mind, which is to create a safer and healthier campus on Harvard, and one that promotes better sexual health and partnership and intimacy and sexuality. We’re very happy to be a part of it,” she said.

Andy J. Kim ‘18, who attended the event, said that he became more aware of the different sexual health and counseling resources on campus.

“I feel like these groups don’t have as much of a presence on campus as they should, and I feel like this event is definitely something that a lot of people have been talking about more,” Kim said.

Although this event was the first annual SHIP Party, organizers say it will not be the last. “It’s a tradition that will continue,” Zoffer said.

According to Peña, SHEATH will host “Sex Weekend” from April 7 to April 9 and will co-sponsor Harvard’s “Denim Day” on April 26, where participants around the country wear denim in order to show support for survivors of sexual assault.

—Staff writer Angela N. Fu can be reached at angela.fu@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @angelanfu.

—Staff writer Dianne Lee can be reached at dianne.lee@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @diannelee_.

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