UCD Students’ Union launched SHIFT (Sexual Health in First Term) Week yesterday. This is the first time this campaign has been run, and it aims to emphasise to students the importance of using contraception during sex.
The week will entail condom and dental dam drops across campus, in Residences and at large society events during Orientation Week. While giving out free contraception, the Students’ Union will be providing information and literature on sexual health and sexually transmitted infections to students.
UCDSU Welfare Officer Mícheál Gallagher wanted to run a sexual health week early in the first semester as he believes it is something which it is important for first year students. He said: “For a lot of people on campus, being 17 and 18, it’s their first time being away from home, and might be the first time they are engaging in sexual activities, so I want to make sure that it’s happening in a safe way, and that they are well informed when it happens.”
He believes which this is something which has been lacking in the past, as previously the Students’ Union have only run a SHAG (Sexual Health and Guidance) Week in the second semester. “The reason we will be doing a SHIFT week and a SHAG week is because a lot of the feedback we were getting was by the time SHAG week came around, people were like: ‘Well we know this stuff already.’ I do think it is a great time to give out condoms.”
SHAG Week will continue until Wednesday September 5th.