The UA has been ranked the third-best university for sexual health programs and services, after Ivy League schools Princeton University and Columbia University.
Researched by Sperling’s Best Places in coordination with Trojan Condoms, the 2013 Trojan Condoms Sexual Health Report Card ranked 140 universities across the U.S. by a variety of factors provided by campus health services.
Lee Ann Hamilton, the assistant director of Health Promotion and Preventative Services at UA Campus Health Service, said the Sexual Health Report Card takes into consideration a broad range of services, such as STD testing and educational programs. In addition to its programs, Campus Health was also evaluated based on its website and other educational efforts, such as its advice column “Sex Talk,” Hamilton added.
“We were very thrilled because we have been moving up over the years,” Hamilton said. “The other two [universities] are very well-known for their services in sexual health and leadership in health ed.”
Since Princeton and Columbia, number one and two on the list respectively, are both private institutions, the UA is the number one public institution, Hamilton said.
Private universities have different sources of funding and probably have more resources, according to David Salafsky, the director of Health Promotion and Preventative Services at Campus Health. Salafsky said Campus Health works hard to provide the best resources, programs and services possible on its limited budget.
“Those private institutions [are] great institutions, but they’re private, and we run on a different model here,” Salafsky said. “It was really nice to see us head and shoulders above all the other schools that would be like us.”
According to Hamilton, Campus Health has a lot of services that can help potentially or already sexually active people reduce health risks.
“That’s why it’s important, because the more you know about your sexual health, the better off for you or any partners you might have,” Hamilton said. “We offer a broad array of services for students … and that’s why we’re ranked kind of highly.”
Sexual health is also important for students to know about because they may not have had comprehensive sex education, Hamilton said, adding that students need to look for the resources because they are readily available.
“We’re all about trying to help students stay safer and reduce their risks if they choose to be sexually active,” Hamilton added.
When the rankings were released, Salafsky said the report card allowed Campus Health to take stock of all the work that has been done related to the topic of sexual health.
“It’s always nice when we can get this national recognition,” Salafsky said. “It’s another way for us to remind students that there are some really great resources available to them.”
Salafsky said Campus Health helps students make the move from high school to college and gives them a foundation for making well-informed choices even beyond graduation, as the transition to college could be a time where relationships and sexual health are important parts of the equation for students.
Marisa Contreras, a pre-physiology freshman, said Campus Health makes it easier for students to get access to safe sex resources by providing free programs and services.
“[Students] know it’s OK that they can go to the health center and actually go and get condoms if they actually need it,” Contreras said. “There’s many ways that we tell our students that it’s OK to have sex, but as long as we’re having it safely.”
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