What exactly is going on with UoN’s SHAG week?

Let’s talk about sex baby

This week the University of Nottingham Student’s Union is running SHAG week; a five day roster of fun and engaging events to open up the conversation around sexual health and wellbeing.

The saucy title SHAG Week stands for Sexual Health and Guidance.

On Monday they kicked things off with the SHAG fair in the Portland Building Welcome Zone, and on Tuesday in the Monica Partridge Building they ran a healthy relationships workshop and a consent training session put on by UoN society, Sexpression.

As for the rest of the week, on Wednesday they’re myth busting birth control with staff from Cripps Health Centre and on Thursday the sex positive group SHAG are running a photobooth and a Q&A about Sex Positivity in The Oasis in Portland Building. The group will be on Sutton Bonnington Campus on Friday, where you can pop in to The Barn and make some sex positive crafts and jewellery.

This is reflected in the variety of events on offer, not only supported by NHS staff to inform us on ‘down there healthcare’, but with a focus on the fun side of things too, like a free to enter giveaway of a bundle of Lovehoney sex toys.

When asked about the SU’s reaction to the recent Sexpression protest, the SU officers said: “They came to us recently with the open letter, wanting us to support them… it’s a completely student led campaign, but we’ve kind of facilitated setting them up with the right university contacts and trying to push that a bit harder through the rally and it’s a been a massive success, I think they’ve got over five hundred signatures on the open letter now.

“It’s not just Sexpression anymore either, The Women’s Network have gotten involved and the SASS Society which is Students Against Sexual violence and Sexism. They’ve all kind of teamed up and done it together, and now the university have had a really positive response to it and are making commitments and have helped us put a joint committee together of students, student union staff and university staff.

“This is a working group focusing on what the consent training is going to look like and the talks held this week are the first step towards that. This is a completely student led campaign focused on what a lot of those involved, as survivors of sexual violence, feel that the building blocks of the training offered should be.”

After much giggling about our Daisy dressed up as a condom and the cuteness of the doodle designs on the SHAG week posters, we got serious and asked if the SU Officers feel that the University of Nottingham has a consent issue: “Not more that any other institution. We do have a problem, but it’s not a Nottingham thing.

“I think that the sector is moving in a way that lots of universities are, starting with mandatory consent training for every single student and we need to follow that trend, because it helps. It makes people feel safe, and that’s the most important thing.”

UoNSU also gave us this statement about menstrual and sexual health products freely available on campus: “We have four Community Cabinets dotted around Portland Building, they hold pads, tampons, condoms (latex+ non-latex) and pregnancy tests.

“They were started as a continuation of a campaign by the Welfare and Wellbeing Officer last year to provide free period products; our aim was to have products in each bathroom stall but funds do not allow so we’ve settled for cabinets at points around the SU near the most student activity/loos.

“The sexual health products were added to support the sexual health activity we’re doing this year (e.g SHAG Week) but in general, the public display of all products in the cabinets are to counteract the negative stigma attached to periods and sex, create honest open conversations about period, sex and pregnancy and also to offset costs for students through Cost of Living.

“Two cabinets can be found on B floor near Portland Coffee and outside the Studio, two cabinets are on C floor outside the Get Involved Zone and Advice.”

Be sure to join in with the remaining events this week and remember that consent is sexy.

Related articles recommended by this author:

Nottingham University to ‘pilot’ consent classes through sports teams and societies

• University of Nottingham is looking for student volunteers for campus homeless shelter

• ‘Checking your chest isn’t only fun, it could save your life’: We spoke to Notts Uni Boob