DePaul climbs higher on Trojan’s Sexual Health Report Card

DePaul is no longer the most sexually unhealthy college in the country, according to the Trojan Sexual Health Report Card. When the 2011 Report Card was released, DePaul sat at the very bottom, 141 out of 141. In the 2012 Report Card DePaul now sits at 114.

The rankings are based on the sexual health services available to students. The schools are graded on their services in 11 different categories, including contraceptive availability, sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing, sexual assault programs and the quality of sexual health information available to students.

Two of the major categories in the survey, contraceptive availability and “hours of operation of health services,” are major issues for DePaul. The university does not have a health services center, with the minor exception of SAGE medical group, which is only available to students living in a residence hall.

If there have been any major changes to the health services available, students are not aware of what they are.

“If they have added any services, I don’t know what they are,” said junior marketing major Brian Van Meter. “I’m on campus all the time, so I definitely would have heard about them.”

“I haven’t heard of any new services,” said senior psychology major Farhana Rahim. “I think it’s a little ridiculous how few services we have available, even outside of sexual health.”

The Dean of Student’s Office was unavailable for comment.

DePaul is far behind the list’s number one school, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. U of I’s McKinley Health Center has an entire page on it’s website devoted to “Healthy Sexuality.” They encourage students to follow Wendy Maltz’s “CERTS” model for healthy sexuality. The “CERTS” model encourages students to follow the requirements of consent, equality, respect, trust and safety before engaging in any sexual activity. U of I even has a sexual health workshop that students can sign up to attend online.

By contrast, DePaul’s health services website outlines how much it costs for students to go to SAGE medical group. There is a website for the Office of Sexual Health and Violence prevention that offers students information on sexual violence including the definition of consent and “safety tips,” but offers little in the area of sexual health.

However the website does explain services offered by DePaul’s Office of Sexual Health and Violence Prevention, including informing students what brochures are available in the office.

On top of a lack of health services available, DePaul does not allow contraceptives and condoms to be distributed on campus. According to the Policy and Procedure Manual DePaul has the right to “restrict the distribution of medical or health supplies/devices items on university premises that it deems to be inappropriate from the perspective of the institution’s mission and values.”

“I think we need to do a lot more to promote safe sex. It’s good that we are going up in the rankings, but 114 is still not good enough,” said Rahim. “As a Catholic university I don’t think we can ever expect to actually be number one on the list, but we definitely need to do a lot better.”

“I think it’s ridiculous that we don’t pass out condoms,” said Van Meter. “This is a college, and whether or not it is against our ‘values’ as a university, kids are going to have sex.”

Although a marked improvement from last year, this ranking still indicates that DePaul has a long way to go to truly improve its sexual health.