IPFW Voices of Choice aims to have more of a focus on sex education this semester, according to Lauren Kerlin, the president of the organization. This is especially important, Kerlin said, due to the fact that Fort Wayne Community Schools is currently on an abstinence-only sex ed curriculum.
VOC will host a condoms and candy table from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 22 tentatively in the Kettler basement, to stay true to this mission.
The group received 500 Trojan-brand condoms from the Great American Condom Campaign. Kerlin had to fill out an application to be chosen for the campaign.
“If you get in then you’re considered a safe site that’s promoting comprehensive sex ed and part of that is handing out the free condoms,” Kerlin said.
Kerlin also said she hopes to have nurse practitioners from Planned Parenthood host educational sessions.
“Victim blaming and slut shaming is something that we wanted to tackle as well,” she said, although she added that their main focus is on education.
VOC also hopes to host a menstruation event at Cinema Center this spring in coordination with the IPFW Anthropology club to focus on period stigma. The idea of the event would be to have a faminist film screening free of charge, but people would be asked to donate menstrual products for the local homeless population.
VOC also plans on hosting Take Back the Night, an annual march against sexual assault and violence, this semester.
“We are thinking of having it downtown this year in hopes of having a larger turnout,” she said.
Finally, the group hopes to host a social event with a documentary screening for new and old members with a light dinner.
More information on these events will be updated on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IPFWVoicesofchoice/.
As a Planned Parenthood Generation action group, members of VOC also attend various events and protests based on the current political climate.
“Obviously with the new administration there’s kind of an attack on Planned Parenthood … so we are interested in organizing around that as things sort of come up,” Kerlin said. “As things arise we are definitely willing and ready to support Planned Parenthood.”
The purposes and objectives of this organization are:
1. To advocate for and educate about reproductive health on IPFW campus and in the Fort Wayne community. Reproductive health topics include but are not limited to: abortion, contraception, STIs, HIV/AIDS, rape culture, safer sex, and sexuality.
2. To provide accurate and unbiased information about options regarding pregnancy (i.e. abortion, adoption, parenting) and a safe space to explore those options.
3. To promote an intersectional feminist perspective by recognizing and criticizing the various facets of oppression (i.e. sexism, racism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia) and realizing how they intersect with one another.