UH Mānoa sexual health ranking low in Trojan report

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The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa once again scored amongst one of the lowest ratings in the Trojan Sexual Health Report Card for 2014.


According to a Trojan report issued by Sperling’s Best Places, a website that offers information about cities in the United States ranging from climate and economy to cost of living and employment, ranked UH Mānoa 116 out of 140 colleges in all 50 states. The report collected information about the campuses in areas like quality of sexual health information and resources on websites, and contraceptive availability.

The biggest schools in each state are among the ones chosen. After a climb in ranking from 108 in 2010 to 90 in 2011, each subsequent year since then saw a decline. Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling’s Best Places, designed the original study and leads it each year.

“This study was originally commissioned to expand the dialogue on safe sex amongst college campuses across the country” Sperling said in a phone interview. “Students need to know how to keep themselves safe and what resources they have should a health issue arise.”

The study is done in an informal manner, said Sperling. He likes to approach the resources available from the point of view of a college student which helps his team to fully understand how students are able to get information from health centers on their campuses.

These campuses are then notified of the upcoming study in March and April every year, and a questionnaire to complete regarding their service is sent out. The team focuses much of its investigation on the website for the schools, said Sperling. Information found on the websites is a large part of the study, and it is one the biggest ways that students receive information about the services on the campus.

According to Scholly, the health promotions office gives presentations to various classrooms and groups of students throughout the year. The educational presentations include educating students about having a healthy sexual relationship as well the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases from irresponsible sexual decisions.

The majority of the presentations take place in the fall at the freshman orientations, Scholly said. For the rest of the school year, she and her team make appearances and take these presentations to classrooms throughout the rest of the school.

“Teachers request we come in give and give a presentation about safe sex and healthy relationships to help bolster their course curriculum,” Scholly said.  “The classes usually have something to do with human development and usually fall within kinesiology and rehabilitation sciences, social sciences, and health science courses.”

The undergraduate students at UH-Mānoa are the primary focus of the educational programs, Scholly said, but from time to time, the outlying community colleges request they come and present to classes at their schools. Since her office doesn’t have the resources to devote as much time at the various community colleges, this only happens a couple times a year at an instructor’s request.

The health promotions office also utilizes an online publication called Student Health 101 that produces articles every month, Scholly said. This service is free for all students and an email is sent out notifying them of a new article each month. These articles are personalized for the campus by the health promotions office and expand on the sexual health presentation Scholly’s team does throughout the year.

In addition, Scholly said a condom fair is organized and held on the campus on February 14th every year. For the past 20 years, various organizations and hundreds of people show up to put on games and activities to educate the students on safe sex.

“Students can stop by our office in QLC 313 during office hours to pick up free condoms as well,” she said. “They are also available at the university health clinic, the women’s center, and the LGBT student services office.”

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