In the coming weeks the nominees for the Ben Feringa Impact Award (BFIA) 2023 will introduce themselves and their impactful research or project. This week in the category student: The student team behind the Sexual Wellness Education Initiative (SWEI)
We are the Sexual Wellness Education Initiative (SWEI): a 10-person team spearheading the issue of social safety, transgressive behaviour, and students' mental health by providing sexual education to university students.
SWEI is based at University College Groningen (UCG).
The Sexual Wellness Education Initiative (SWEI) is an organization that provides a year-round, holistic sexual education curriculum to university students. With workshops, talks, and interactive conversations, our goal is that through education we will be able to combat transgressive behaviour, improve student health, and protect student wellbeing. We are doing this by bridging the gap between experts in the field and students, to fill the current knowledge gap. The Sexual Wellness Education Initiative is a dynamic organization by and for students that continuously improves and enhances the sexual education programme provided. Therefore, we are working hard to contribute this essential piece to the puzzle of student health and wellbeing.
SWEI covers ‘the Good, the Bad, and the Necessary’ of sexual education in its curriculum. The ‘Necessary’ contains workshops on consent, LGBTQ+ topics, STIs, and sexual health. The ‘Bad’ involves workshops on catcalling, sexual assault, and harassment. Lastly, the ‘Good’ includes talks on pleasure, porn, and BDSM. On top of this, SWEI organizes parties throughout the year to provide a fun, safe, and comfortable environment for participants. With a trained awareness team and a space where everyone can be themselves, SWEI hopes to show how party culture can change to accommodate an enjoyable night for all students.
At the start and end of every year, SWEI conducts research by sending out a Faculty-wide questionnaire to test the level of knowledge before and after the sexual education provided during the academic year. Also, feelings on social safety, numbers on transgressive behaviour, mental health measurements, and more are asked of all students at the UCG. This provides an accurate picture of the current and improved state of the student body with SWEI present at the Faculty.
Everyone in the team has their personal reasons for being part of the initiative; however, the common goal of combatting transgressive behaviour, bettering students' mental health, and working towards closing the knowledge gap is shared amongst all of us. The birth of SWEI followed from four students sharing their concerns for the social safety of all students living in the shared housing provided in the first year at the UCG during the Covid-19 pandemic. From this, a proposal grew to become the Sexual Wellness Education Initiative, which is now an established part of the education provided at the UCG.
Overview nominees Ben Feringa Impact Award 2023
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