Reporting Rachel Slavik
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An upcoming workshop at the University of Minnesota is getting a lot of attention. Students won’t be learning about skills that will help with their careers, but rather their personal life.
It’s called The Female Orgasm: A Program About Sexual Health and Women’s Empowerment. The overall message is to promote sexual health and women’s empowerment, but this class takes also it a little further, it’s advertised as learning about the “big O.”
In their four years of higher education, students learn the skills needed for a successful career. But, now, a workshop offered by the University of Minnesota will teach students to be successful in other areas of life.
“You hear a lot about classes like this on public universities. I don’t think it’s so uncommon,” said Kaylissa Zoie, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota.
The Female Orgasm: A Program About Sexual Health and Women’s Empowerment is as a program for “orgasm aficionados and beginners of all genders.” It’s already the talk of campus.
“It’s a good thing. It’s probably pretty useful,” said A.J. Jensen, a sophomore at the U of M.
“Can’t say I approve of it, really,” said Alex Johnson, a senior at the U of M.
Part of the concern is the cost. The one-time workshop is promoted as free for students.
In reality, the workshop will cost $3,600 paid for with student fees, as well as, maintenance and operation funds.
“Well, they’re paying that money and I’m paying that money to go here, so essentially, I’m funding this class that I don’t morally agree with,” Johnson said.
With tuition on the rise and a review of the University’s administrative spending costs about to begin, some wonder if this class is money well spent.
“I don’t think they should be using the school’s money to pay for things that are optional and way out there,” said Shaddara Strange, a junior at the U of M.
More than two months before the April 10 workshop and interest is already there.
“I think there will probably be a good turnout,” said Jensen.
Every day students only need to look at the banners lining the University mall to be reminded of the University of Minnesota’s commitment to education and research. The motto “Driven to Discover” applies to all aspects of life.
The University released a statement regarding the workshop which states, “As the state’s preeminent education and research institution, the University of Minnesota provides information on a wide range of topics. The vast majority of these topics are not controversial, but some are.
Teaching and learning are central to our mission and as a public institution, we welcome a range of diverse viewpoints and embrace the tenets of free speech and academic freedom.
The health of our students is our utmost concern as it contributes to long-term academic, occupational, and personal success.
The university provides a forum for education on all facets of human health and encourages discussion and learning. We offer programs that educate our students on a variety of health topics including: the consequences of tobacco use and alcohol use; the importance of exercise; nutrition and sexual health, including abstinence. Students are faced with making choices about their individual health every day and are at a stage in their lives where they are learning about the short- and long-term impact of these decisions. We strive to give students access to the information necessary for them to make healthy decisions and lead healthy and productive lives.
‘The Female Orgasm: A Program About Sexual Health and Female Empowerment’ will be held on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus on April 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The workshop is an educational opportunity for participants to talk openly in small groups about healthy sexuality and relationships broadly, and discuss and analyze the messages women receive about their bodies and sexuality from media and elsewhere. The intent of the workshop is to educate individuals in making decisions about what is right for them as they seek to build healthy relationships. The departments hosting the workshops know that this program will not appeal to every student. Participation is not mandatory.
This event is sponsored by a number of campus groups including: the Women’s Center; the GLBTA Programs Office; the Aurora Center for Advocacy & Education, and the Women’s Student Activist Collective (a student organization).
Those sponsors are sharing the total cost of $3,656; which includes the $2,800 speaking fee, $606 for travel and accommodations, and $250 for rental of the St. Paul Student Center Theatre. The funds come from a combination of student fees and Operations and Maintenance funds.
The program has been hosted by many campuses around the country Carleton College, Florida State, Kent State, New Mexico State University, North Carolina State University, Texas A & M, Tulane University, University of Wisconsin.”