Things weren’t too good to begin with, but it looks like they have gotten even worse. According to the annual Trojan Sexual Health Report, UVU dropped five places from 113 last year to 118 this year in the nationwide study of sexual health resources on campuses.
The study, which was fielded by research firm Sperling’s Best Places, ranked 141 colleges based on the sexual health resources and information available to students. The scores were based on 13 categories including hours of operation, contraceptive availability, and free or at cost HIV and/or STI testing.
While UVU was ranked lower than the previous year, the University of Utah shot up over 40 places from 103 to 60. Utah State University also improved by 24 places, from 125 to 101.
The only other local university involved in the study was Brigham Young University which was ranked second to last, beating only DePaul University, the largest Catholic university in the nation located in Chicago, Illinois. The low ranking of these two universities does not imply their students are sexually unhealthy. Rather, it shows the universities do not provide resources and information on sexual health to its students, an unsurprising matter considering the conservative Christian values held by both private institutions.
The specific reasoning for UVU’s low score is unclear since the report did not provide details for each school. UVU does provide sexual health resources to its students but its low score may be due to its requirement for students to make an appointment, as opposed to walk-ins or its lack of anonymous advice available to students. Student Health Services only provides condoms when they have any to hand out and it’s only as supplies last. Currently, the SHS does not have any in stock.
The SHS does provide on campus HIV and STI testing, often at cheaper prices than the Utah County Health Department. However, the UCHD does have a walk-in clinic on Wednesday from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Another reason for UVU’s low rank may be due to the absence of a separate sexual health awareness program for students, e.g. Sex Week. Recently, Dr. Susan Steffan came to campus to answer students’ questions about sex; however, her visit was a one-time event.
According to Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling’s Best Places, the higher ranked schools such as top-ranked Columbia University in New York City scored high in nearly all the categories while the lower ranked schools showed inconsistencies.
For more information on the report findings, visit trojancondoms.com. For more information on the sexual health resources available on campus, visit uvu.edu/studenthealth.