Health & Wellness

Students Encouraged to Have Healthy Relationships

The Student Life section of Utah State Today highlights work written by the talented student journalists at Utah State University. Each week, the editor selects a story that has been published in The Utah Statesman or the Hard News Café or both for inclusion in Utah State Today.

Students Encouraged to Have Healthy Relationships

By Jessica Hinrichs, staff writer, in The Utah Statesman, Thursday, February 14, 2013

Aggies came together Feb. 13 for the 15th-annual Healthy Relationships and Sexual Responsibility Week at USU.

Booths were provided throughout the day. Health service workers gave information about sexual health and advice on how to have a healthy relationship.

Speed dating games were a precursor to the Aggie Dating game, which featured Danny Berger among others as eligible bachelors.

Ryan Barfuss, USU Student Health Service’s prevention specialist, said the event was held to show there are many resources on campus available to students who have questions or problems.

“With college students there’s risks with healthy relationships,” Barfuss said. “Violence and sexual assault do happen here on campus. We would be naive if we think it doesn’t.”

Rachelle Webb, a staff member of USU’s Sexual Assault & Anti-Violence office, or SAVVI, said one in four female college students are sexually assaulted in the U.S. The males are slightly lower with one in 10. Most are typically aggravated by males.

“It is the most underreported crime, so we think that the numbers are actually much higher,” Webb said.

Webb said most students aren’t aware of their services, which are located in the Health and Wellness Center. SAVVI promotes healthy relationships and helps victims of violent or sexual crimes.

“We help them with setting up counseling or therapy,” Webb said. “We also help get them out of their classes and fill out stalking injunctions.”

Webb said SAVVI also strives to raise awareness of sexual assault and be a resource to students in unhealthy relationships or situations at USU.

Barfuss said many students come to college looking for a relationship and some come solely to find a special someone, but either way, there are potential dangers.

Kaleena Anderson teaches a class called “How to Avoid Falling for a Jerk (or Jerk-ette)” through USU extension. The research based class shows how to build a strong healthy dating relationship and avoid the dangers of being with a bad partner.

Anderson said the best way to know if a person is a jerk is to see all of their “faces.”

“Really get to know the sides of that person,” Anderson said. “Get to know their family background, their conscience, whether you are really compatible with that person.”

Classes are taught for free at USU and can be registered for at The next session will begin March 18th.

“We’re always going to be learning no matter how old we are,” Barfuss said. “We all still need that advice.”

Monica Moser with REACH Peers, an undergraduate program that assists USU’s psychologists, said they help with everything from those with unhealthy relationships to those looking for someone to be with.

Moser said a lot of students have fear about going in to get counseling.

“I respect everyone who comes in,” Moser said. “They come in wanting to change something about what they want to improve on.”

The REACH Peer center, located on the third floor of the TSC, offers counseling sessions and informational workshops on a variety of subjects not limited to dating problems.

Planned Parenthood also manned a booth. The club’s vice president Tabetha Aparicio, with members Andrew Swensen and Elaine Taylor, gave out lubricant and condoms to promote safe sex, prevention and awareness about STD’s.

“If students decide to have sex, we want them to have a safe option,” Taylor said.

Aparicio said Planned Parenthood wants to promote healthy reproduction.

“We just want people to be aware of their options and know that services are available through Planned Parenthood for very inexpensive prices,” Aparicio said.

All services and programs at the event are available to staff and students of USU free of charge.

USU students at the Healthy Relationships activity

Students examine freebies at a table in the TSC's International Lounge as part of Healthy Relationships and Sexual Responsibility Week. Delayne Locke photo (from the USU Statesman Online)


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