Zeta Phi Beta hosts Sex in the Dark


Max Goldberg/Iowa State Daily

The Sloss House, built in 1882, currently houses the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center which “promotes equity and social change on the Iowa State University campus,” according to their website. Students can participate in the center’s “Who Needs Feminism” campaign, volunteer, or even rent out the space.

Destiny Esaw

Let’s talk about sexual health… in the dark.

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, along with three other organizations, presented Sex in the Dark to provide an educational safety net for students wanting to learn more about sexual health. The event was hosted by not only Zeta Phi Beta, but Student Wellness, the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center and the Thielen Student Health Center.

Those who entered the Margaret Sloss Women’s Center were able to put on glow-in-the-dark accessories and sat in a circle surrounding the ‘sexperts’ of the event. The sexperts panel included Beth Mensing, health educator for Planned Parenthood, Erin Pederson, staff psychologist for Student Counselling Services, and Lois Smith, staff nurse for the Thielen Student Health Center.

General guidelines were laid out prior to the open questions panel. All questions submitted were to remain anonymous, and were written in folded pieces of paper by the audience and thrown into a bowl. Respect, maturity and open-mindedness were to be expected by all audience members as well.

“This event is very important to a college campus because it provides knowledge about sexual health in a safe environment,” said Jazzmine Brooks, the Violence Prevention and Green Dot coordinator in the Student Wellness Center.

For over an hour, the ‘sexperts’ offered information regarding safe sex, STDs and STIs, pregnancy, birth control, experimentation and resources available for providing healthcare, and help for victims of sexual assault.

“There are a lot of unplanned pregnancies and unwanted STDs going around campus and maybe if students are exposed to this event there would be smarter decisions made,”says Satoria Williams, president of Zeta Phi Beta.

As students began to ask questions and talk more openly about sexual assault, they were encouraged to speak out and get help but to do it at their own pace.

“We will always take into account of what you’ve endured,” said Pederson. “It’s not your fault and it’s okay to take your time; we will go at your pace.”

As the presentation came to a close students were handed “swag bags” which included STD/STI brochures with contact information for any campus resources a student may need, ranging from sexual orientation to sexual assault.

“It doesn’t matter however long it takes for you to come to us and ask for help we will be here, for you” Pederson said.