UNF Sex Week events cancelled by officials

Marielisa Martinez


The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Resource had to remove the panels “Polyamory vs. Cheating” and “Coming out Kinky” from the Sex Week program, happening  from March 6 to March 10.

Campus Reform published an article saying the polyamory panel was designed for “students searching for ‘ethical non-monogamy as an alternative to cheating’,” instead of a sexual education event for the whole community.

The UNF Sex Week event page was removed by UNF officials. Once a new event page is approved, it will be reactivated.

Both events were planned by the Relationship Equality Foundation (REF) organization. The university cancelled two of three events brought together by the REF. The event that hasn’t been cancelled is “Navigating New Relationship Energy.”

A condom cake for Sex Week. Photo by Angel Kalafatis
A condom cake for Sex Week. Photo by Angel Kalafatis

Billy Holder, Vice President of the REF organization, said UNF officials never contacted them for a more detailed explanation of the panel’s content.

“We did not have the opportunity to discuss the classes with the university organization,” Holder said.

“18-24 [year olds] are now accepting non-monogamy relationships more than before,” continued Holder. “They need the education so they can effectively navigate the relationship with the less of harm.”

As a result of the Campus Reform article, UNF’s officials, lead by Vice President Thomas Serwatka, decided to cancel the “Polyamory vs. Cheating” and the “Coming out Kinky” panel as well, in order to preserve the school’s image and eliminate distraction from the event’s original mission.

Spinnaker contacted vice president Serwatka for comments and they will be posted as soon as possible.

According to Kaitlin M. Legg, director at the LGBT Resource Center, students have gone to the center asking for guidance regarding topics such as polyamory and BDSM practices, all of them orbiting in the consent spectrum.

“We’re known as the sexuality center as well, so a lot of students come asking these questions,” said Legg.

UNF Sex Week 2017’s mission states that the event seeks to present a “series of events that feature a sex-positive message designed to educate the campus community on a wide variety of topics including but not limited to: health and wellness, relationships and intimacy, identity and orientation, safety and risk awareness, and consent.”

According to Angel Kalafatis, mentor program coordinator at the LGBT Resource Center and UNF grad student, neither of the panels interfered with the event’s mission.

“There is a lot of stigma surrounding some sexual behaviors,” said Kalafatis. “We want to destigmatize these practices and provide safety information about it.”

Campus Reform also mentioned “A Grownup Toy Story,” a workshop that will explore the mechanics of sexual exploration with yourself and your partner. The workshop would also discuss the use of sex toys and their role in sexuality. UNF’s Pride Club organized the workshop and since it is a student organization, the university cannot limit their freedom.

“Polyamory in Practice” was going to discuss the implications of this non-monogamous behavior from the inside. The talk would have presented four polyamorous individuals who would have shared their experience practicing this lifestyle. The talk would have taken place on March 8, from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., inside of building 58 E, in the student union.

“Coming out Kinky” wanted to explore what it really means to be kinky, through different healthy sex principles like RACK which stands for Risk, Aware and Consensual Kink. It would also have briefly touched on BDSM culture and consent. The panel would have taken place on March 9, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 pm, inside Building 58 E, room 1111, in the student union.

The Center held a public lunch for students today at noon, with free food, in its office in the student union building. There, Sex Week’s organizers told students that they are still welcome to openly talk about any topics without fear in the center.


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