Wednesday, April 8, 2009

emergency contraception and birth control workshop

join us and spread the word!!

our annual EC/Birth control workshop will be held on 4/15 in metacalf lounge 7-8:30. A fabulous nurse from health service will join us as well as a representative from the EC boston network.

the physical, political and the real deal about the how's, what's and 'how do you do that, and how do i get some?' will be covered!!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Girls Gone Wild at Tufts?? Not so much...

A recent Daily article titled “Girls Gone Wild,” by Logan Crane has been receiving a lot of attention and it’s easy to see why. Some students we’ve spoken to feel like it perpetrates misogyny and stereotypes while others defend Logan’s right to write what she wants to and readers’ right to simply stop reading.

However, I think that one of the most significant issues is really the concept of a relationship being “normal” that is full of mistrust and blame. Healthy relationships involve open communication which, depending on the individual (gender classifications and stereotypes aside) may be easier for some couples than others.

It’s safe to say, for me at least, that I’ve heard some horror stories about stalkers and psycho clingers but the behavior of the individuals who conducted themselves this way is something that is serious. Sure, it’s easy to laugh and dismiss it as the behavior of a complete nut, but at the basis of this behavior may be some truly significant issues.

According to the Tufts specific report the “Healthy Minds Study,” 54% of Tufts students have reported "mental or emotional problems which had impaired their academic performance the previous for weeks," and "35%reported they had needed professional help in the previous year, while only 17% have actually received counseling. Which tells us we need to work on how to get folks who are in need to counseling and lower the barriers. With the stress of classes, the increased responsibility that comes with living on our own, and the changes that we all undergo at this stage in our lives this is not surprising. In addition to all of this is the pressure to be fit, thin, and in shape that comes from the media. One of the girls Logan mentioned may have had crippling insecurities, serious depression, or both.

Blaming this behavior upon the other party diverts focus from the real issue. Perhaps it is true that the males involved really had been uncommunicative or lacking in understanding. I do not know them personally (in fact I do not know anyone involved, or Logan herself for that matter). But the belief that the man in a relationship has the role of the person who doesn’t want to communicate calls attention to another more serious matter than the behavior of someone in a specific situation. It accentuates the prevelance that stereotypes and sexism have in society even among educated, comparatively open-minded individuals. I’m not just talking about the negative icon of the over-emotional woman, but also about the concept of the male who possesses a chronic lack of feeling. Many excellent male writers have communicated their emotions through words for hundreds of years so this can hardly be true. Common sense combined with personal experience also helps to make it clear that this concept is erroneous.

Stalking consists of following someone, appearing at their home, class or work, making harassing phone calls and emails, leaving written messages or objects, and/or vandalizing someone’s property. Without a threat, stalking does not become a legal issue, but it may still be just as traumatizing to the victim and that party should not feel helpless. The fact is that stalking at Tufts DOES happen. Logan’s article may have made it seem like something that should be taken as part of campus life, but nobody should have to put up with it. Stalking a person is not ok. It is a violation of a person’s privacy and space, among other things.

Logan’s article can help us to focus upon issues that deserve attention here at Tufts. People feel the need for counseling here and it is available. Stereotypes do not just occur outside of this community and the perpetration of them is insidious enough to possibly have an effect upon more than just the way that we see others and they see us. They can affect our actions with people that we truly care about.

What do you think? How have these issues affected you and your friends, male and female? What types of relationships do we want anyway, and how are we getting them or not? Let us know.

Note: If you or someone that you know feels they are being stalked,harassed or assaulted, measures can be taken. The Sexual Violence Resource Coordinator can be reached weekdays from 9AM-5PM at (617)627-3752. The Counselor on Call can be reached at (617)627-3030 at all hours and on all days of the week.

For information about stalking: Stalking Resource Center

Boston Area Rape Crisis Center's sexual violence Facts and Stats and Resources available

Tufts Health Education Department's website at Health Services

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Birth Control Pills and Health Services

A lot of people are concerned about going on the pill or have other birth control because they don't want their parents to know they're sexually active. However, it's important to know this should not stop you from getting and using birth control. At Health Services you can make an appointment, request birth control from a clinician, and (after having it prescribed) pick it up at the counter at Health Services. Be prepared to pay with credit card or check at that time. IT WILL NOT SHOW UP ON YOUR BURSAR BILL AT ALL.

Tune in for more info on EC and the particulars around lab charges for STI testing and vaginal and anal pap smears.

So here's to safersex! for more in depth info:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Protect Yourself: Some Tips (pun intended) and Facts on Condoms

Codoms are an essential part of safe sex, and we all know safe=less stress=fun. We hope the act of getting a condom on is not an issue, and that the guys are ready, willing and able (and skilled) at getting it on. literally. God forbid, it were an issue: find the door. We welcome and suggestions for making this 'ohthiswillwreckthemood' cliche, a thing of the past. In the meantime, here are some fabulous facts:

* At least 55 million Americans have a sexually transmitted infection-that's 1 in 4 adults.

* Oils and most lotions will cause latex to break. Use only water or silicone based lubes with latex.

* You can still get a number of infections from unprotected oral sex.

* 1 in 5 newly infected individuals with HIV in the US has a drug resistant strain of the virus.

* Condoms help prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Put on a condom before there is ANY vaginal, oral or anal contact with the penis.

* Make sure there are no air pockets at the top of the fitted condom. This makes them burst very easily. Squeeze any air out before you have intercourse.

* Never use oil-based lubricants (petroleum jelly or mineral oil) on latex condoms.

* Do not use a condom that is old or brittle.

* Store condoms in a cool, dry place to maximize their life and effectiveness.

* Don't store condoms in wallets; they could get damaged or worn out from the heat of the backside of a person or the pressure from being squished frequently

* Condoms can be weakened by exposure to heat or sunlight or by age.

* Always check the expiration date. Condoms should come with an expiration date.

* Always use a condom; going without one puts you and your partner at risk.

* DO NOT use more than one condom at a time as they can both tear due to the friction between them.

* In order to prevent the transmission of HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), you MUST use a latex condom, NOT a "natural" or animal skin condom. Animal skin condoms have tiny holes that HIV can get through, whereas latex condoms do not.

* Always put the condom on before ANY contact with your partner, not just before ejaculation. There are traces of sperm in the "pre-cum" liquid that comes from the erect penis and this too can cause pregnancy.

* To make it feel even better, put a drop or two of lube or Warming Liquid inside the condom before putting it on and apply a bit to the outside as well (it evaporates like water and doesn't leave a sticky mess).

* Always have condoms available. Put one or two condoms in your bag, pocket or purse. Keep a few near your bed. If the idea of someone seeing your condoms makes you squeamish, use a condom case.

* If you think using a condom "would kill the mood" try putting it on in a sexy way, like another bit of foreplay. Unrolling it over the penis can be sensual, even a turn-on. Don't limit your imagination; perhaps try applying the condom with your or your partner's mouth.

The Low Down:


Welcome to the Official PACT blog!

Who We Are

Prevention, Awareness, and Community at Tufts (P.A.C.T.) is a new student group on campus that works to raise awareness and promote dialogue on-campus around different health issues such as consent and healthy sexuality, sexual violence, eating concerns, body image, alcohol and drugs, mental health and depression.We are interested in how these issues play out on our campus and how communication, social norms and gender roles affect how we deal with them. We are campaigning around campus and are available for educational presentations in dorms and organizations.

Our History

PACT (as Prevention, Awareness, and Consent at Tufts) was formed in 2007 by a group of passionate students who felt that their roles as advisors for in the SACK abruptly ended. They wanted to continue educating through various ways such as providing resources and facilitating discussion around in the SACK's topics throughout the school year.

In its first year, it was funded through a grant from the Department of Justice to deal with issues around sexual assault, relationship violence, and stalking. The grant ended in May 2008 and now PACT has expanded under the new health education department to address a wider range of issues (i.e., mental health and alcohol/drug abuse).

Why the Blog?

PACT decided that a blog would be a good way to easily spread information and encourage conversation about health education topics students care about, from how to not freak out about getting EC (Emergency Contraception) to what really goes on when you go to counseling, to how to tell a friend you think their drinking/eating/hook up habits are out of control. We also will be posting various videos, articles, and Tufts-specific information. We want to hear from you: You can post comments and email us with your input and interests.

What You Can Do

To get involved with PACT, come to the Women's Center at 12pm on Mondays. We can also be reached at PACT is available to come to your group/dorm for fun, interactive programs about various topics such as sexual and mental health. We encourage students and student leaders to come to us for information to take back to your friends or organizations: spread the health.