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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA ranks 70 in Trojan’s Sex Report

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Kurt Strazdins
Graphic shows pill package, condoms and sex symbols over pink background

The UA ranked 70 out of 141 schools surveyed in Trojan Brand Condoms’ Sexual Health Report Card.

For the past four years, Sperling’s BestPlaces, an independent research company, has drawn from schools within the BCS system and analyzed the sexual heath resources and information available to students, said Allison Goldstein, a representative for Trojan Brand Condoms.

“”They chose to use our company because we’re experts in qualitative analysis, looking at things like opinions and attitudes,”” said Bert Sperling, president of the company.

The schools from the BCS system were surveyed in order to include large universities as well as smaller institutions such as the Ivy Leagues, Sperling said.

Around half a million students were surveyed, approximately 30 percent of all undergraduate students in America.

Information on Arizona was gathered in three parts.

The first part was a two-page questionnaire mailed to students, followed by a phone call.

Next, a team of employees reviewed the Campus Health Services Web site for usability and services provided, Sperling said.

The final step of the survey was an independent Facebook campaign that invited students to participate in a five-question online poll regarding their attitudes about the health center.

The UA sits a mere one spot above the median in the rankings, but far out-performs ASU, ranked at 113.

“”We did find that the Web site usability was high, easy to use, so that was quite powerful in our calculations,”” Sperling said.

Other areas in which the UA scored well were hours of operation for Campus Health Services, the availability and prices of contraceptives for students, HIV and STD testing, and the effectiveness of sexual assault reporting and counseling programs.

“”Arizona scored above average in these areas but not top marks in any of them,”” Sperling said.

The main areas in which the UA can improve are peer groups and lecture outreach programs, including an advice column in the student newspaper and the opportunity for “”drop-ins”” as well as scheduled appointments, according to student responses.

Campus Health Service official Lee Ann Hamilton doesn’t “”put much stock in the survey.””

For students who are unaware, Campus Health runs a column in the Daily Wildcat every Monday in fall and spring semesters that answers student’s questions. The column has been printed since 1995.

“”It’s fresh, current, reliable information that is written by professional educators and we answer new questions every week that people e-mail us,”” Hamilton said.

As for peer groups and lecture outreach programs, Campus Health Services collaborates every year with the Women’s Resource Center located on campus.

“”We have a program called Sex-Ed College Style that’s free and helps students with relationships, STD information and more,”” said Jessica Whitson, a junior majoring in Spanish and senior intern with the Women’s Resource Center. “”We also have Sex Days where we talk to the student body at large and let people know we’re here and the services we offer.””

Whitson admits that Sex Days don’t reach as many people as they might like because people are often rushing to class or are distracted.

Hamilton finds the survey results laughable.

“”We had over 170 people walk into our health services without appointments so, again, there is a lot of availability, and there are also open appointments,”” Hamilton said. “”It surprises me, because the ranking doesn’t fit with reality.””

ASU has scored in the bottom fourth of the rankings since the first survey four years ago.

“”Basically, in Arizona State, in the responses and opinions gathered from students, it doesn’t rank very high,”” Sperling said. “”As far as the student attitudes toward the health center, the Web site is average and much of their scores were at average or below.””

Most students at ASU said their HIV and STD testing availability was the highest-ranking component of health services on campus, and were pleased with their school’s sex column in their newspaper.

Men ranked contraceptive availability more highly than women because male condoms are more available and free, while female contraception is more difficult to get and costs more, according to the survey results.

Because of the rankings, many schools have improved student health awareness on campus.

“”Students have seen this as a call to action,”” said Goldstein. “”Students are trying very hard to improve their ranking, and they thought it was an important issue and take care of it on campus.””

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