Despite being denied funding by the ETSU Student Government Association Senate in October 2014, organizers are finalizing preparations for ETSU’s first Sex Week.
The group raised more than $6,000 out of a desired $10,000 through private donations and fundraising events and anticipates that preparations will be complete before the event kicks off on Feb. 9.
“I’m used to doing events for no money because most student organizers have to get used to having no money,” said Max Carwile, lead coordinator of Sex Week. “So, having this much has been great because we can get all of the events we want done actually done. We can make this week happen now.”
Carwile said the group’s inability to reach its goal of $10,000 did affect the amenities it could provide to visitors, such as event shirts and food.
However, despite the drawback in desired funding, the coordinators have managed to preserve the substantive goals of the event.
“The core of the event is still intact,” Carwile said. “I’ve been a strong believer since the first time we were denied SGA funding that it didn’t matter how much money we had [and] that we have people who care so strongly about this event that it was going to happen and have a lot of heart put into it regardless of how much money we had.”
Carwile said Sex Week coordinators has replaced the focus on fundraising with the need to finish planning and organizing the event, especially since there aren’t as many groups involved.
“This is new; this is the first year we’re doing this,” Carwile said.
“I imagine it will grow as the years go on. That’s what I’ve seen with other sex education weeks across the country, so it’s bound to happen that it’s not immediately a huge following.”
The week’s schedule has been finalized and will include events like “Let’s Talk about Sex: Personally, Culturally, and Globally,” “Sex: Am I Normal?” and “The Bible and Sex.”
“Now it’s just a matter of getting panelists for certain events and getting the exact lesson plan for each event, as well as advertising,” Carwile said. “That’s going to be our big thing — not just letting people know this week exists but also drawing the students.”
Carwile said the positive feedback she has received organizing events like “I Heart Female Orgasm” has reinforced her belief that people at ETSU are interested in receiving comprehensive sexual education.
“It seems like this is something people want,” Carwile said. “So, I’d like to see this happen every year so that more and more groups — incoming freshmen — can learn about this subject matter, so that we can be passing it on and sharing this information.”