EDITORIAL: Sex Ed

Emily Little/HERALD

Herald Editorial Staff

The Issue: WKU dropped 20 spots on Trojan Condoms’ annual ranking of university sexual health.

Our Stance: WKU needs to find its way around the bedroom.

 American universities are ranked based on their sexual health policies every year, and this year WKU dropped from 64th to 84th. Needless to say, the new ranking doesn’t bode well for anybody’s Big Red.

WKU is officially the least sexually healthy university in the state on Trojan’s ranking. Even Middle Tennessee State University is beating us now that they’ve shed a few slots to reach No. 69. The University of Louisville is making the Hill look like a raging pit of unprotected sex with its cozy spot at No. 16, and the University of Kentucky is giving WKU smug looks at No. 48.

The university isn’t necessarily dropping because of negative changes at WKU. Melissa Smith, a public relations representative for the ranking, said that most of the ranking changes come from universities stepping up their sexual health center. 

The ranking means WKU has been sitting idle on sexual health improvements for a couple years now. This is actually the second year in a row that WKU dropped in the ranking — last year we shed five spots.

WKU needs to start catching up before we’re left in the lube-covered dust of more progressive schools. 

Condoms are available from health educators on one side of the Health Services Building. However, those condoms are only available during their limited hours Monday through Friday. WKU needs condom distribution stations around campus, and they desperately need to be available on the weekend. The Downing Student Union, with its long hours even on weekends, would be an excellent place to hand out free rubbers.

Groups like Gender and Woman Studies hand out condoms and information on campus occasionally. WKU can’t just leave sexual health to a handful of Hilltoppers. 

There may be a greater disconnect between WKU administration and our newly privatized Health Services than there has been in the past. That said, WKU needs to let Grave Gilbert Clinic know that its their responsibility to actively promote sexual health on campus and get information out to students. 

WKU’s Stall Street Journal is a great way of getting out the word about free STD testing, but free testing days need to be broadcasted all over the Hill. Hearing about the testing should be unavoidable, and going to get tested needs to be culturally accepted and encouraged. 

Kentucky is providing about 1.8 percent of all teenage pregnancies in the entire country, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With its declining sexual health ranking, WKU isn’t doing its part to help change teenage pregnancy statistics in Kentucky. 

We need to keep pregnancy rates low and graduation rates high. But if WKU starts pushing safe sex, then our health ranking doesn’t have to be the only thing rising.