Sex at Northwestern discussed


As a student living in the dorms, of Northwestern’s campus, one might hear particular bumps in the night every now and then. Those bumps in the night are not the infamous boogieman one would hear about in a children’s story, but actually sex.

To be forthright, being in college where students are away from home, given a significant amount of freedom and hormones are constantly raging, sex is going to take place because it is inevitable.

According to an anonymous survey titled “Sex on Campus” that was sent to students via e-mail, over 200 responses were received. Fifty-five percent of students responded that they have had casual, non-committed sex since attending college at Northwestern. Of that majority 35 percent said they have had casual sex off campus, while 51 percent said they had both on and off campus sex.

Since Northwestern is located in a much more conservative area, are college students bothered by the sex happening in the dorms on campus? The results of the anonymous survey showed that over half the students that participated have never confronted someone they heard having sex in the dorms.

“I mostly let it go. Those things don’t really bother me, I mostly laugh about it, especially if they’re my friends and I can tease them about it later, “said Mass Communication student, Bailey Rankin, who lives on campus. “I think it is pretty natural. I’ve been lucky and have only heard it going on and haven’t seen anything, in the dorms at least.”

The anonymous survey shows that more than half of students living in the dorms have never found sex on campus to be disruptive, so maybe sex in the dorms isn’t as taboo or as disruptive as some might think it is.

It could possibly be because a majority of students that took the survey feel that the resident assistants handle noise complaints relatively well, or maybe it could be several students don’t really let the subject of sex effect them and would rather look at the situation as adults. Is it possible that the topic of sex could be seen as an off-limits topic because the university does not effectively discuss it with its students?

Out of the 200 plus students that participated in the “Sex on Campus” survey, 43.7 percent live on campus and are expected to follow the guidelines of the dorms. One of the most controversial rules is that of the curfew. When asked if they know the rules of the dorms, 26.6 percent responded no.

The student hand book that is given to every person upon move in, clearly states that no overnight guests, of the opposite sex, are allowed to stay in the dorms past the set time of curfew. Monday through Thursday, visitation is allowed from 10:00a.m. to midnight. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday this time frame is extended to 1:00a.m.

Through the survey’s results, it showed the opinions of those who disagree with the visitation rule. “I feel like it is not needed. We are adults and paying the institution to live there so we shouldn’t be given a curfew,” said one survey participant.

“The dorm is like one giant apartment complex to me,” said another student who took the anonymous survey. “I pay to live here and although apartment complexes have rules, a curfew for visitors is not one. I’m almost 21 years old and I feel like I should be able to have someone stay over without paying a $25 ticket, but I understand it’s a safety thing for everyone on campus and I’ll be moving into my own house soon so it ultimately doesn’t matter to me.”

Morgan Renbarger is the hall supervisor of South Hall and working towards her masters in educational leadership. “The rules are put in place to protect our residents” Renbarger said. “We want to avoid any dangerous situation for our residents’ safety and also the safety of the guest.”

Bailey Trammell is the Director of Student Success and Counseling. On average each semester there are 10-15 incidents that occur within the dorms that would lead to Trammell getting involved. These situations can range from domestic violence issues, to someone getting in trouble for having alcohol in their room or possession. Alcohol is the number one situation that is dealt with on campus regarding the dorms.

Even if someone follows the rules of the curfew, they may still find themselves with a ticket for not having an escort. All opposite sex guests are required to be escorted in and out of the building or else a ticket will be issued to both parties.

One student told of her experience with this but has been asked to stay anonymous. “I was helping a friend bring in bags from the car to the top floor of Coronado,” the student said. “My friend and I walked straight out after, both of us females, and we don’t live on campus. We forgot you have to have an escort walk us out and didn’t think anything of it until we got tickets in the mail, two weeks later.”

Of the students surveyed, 45 percent said they have had more sex since living off campus than while they lived on campus, while 33 percent said they have the same amount of sex. There are a couple reasons why some students seem to not only prefer but engage in more sex off campus than on.

Trenton Early a junior health and sports science major from Salina, Kansas said, “Sex off campus is way more enjoyable, there’s not people right next to you in dorms.” “You don’t have to worry as much about a roommate walking in, or something interrupting you,” Early said.

Also mentioned that having sex off campus is overall just a more private and comfortable experience for both people involved. Regulations and strict rules are just part of the reasons why the majority of students tend to move off campus.

The rules at Northwestern play a major role in why some students feel the need to move their hook ups to a place where there is no curfew and is no potential for a fine, like there is at all the dorms on campus.

An anonymous source had this to say regarding why people choose to have sex off campus rather than on. “People prefer having sex off campus because they don’t have to worry about any rules or any other interruptions or awkward moments that can potentially occur on campus,” the anonymous source said.

Students at Northwestern generally just agree that sex off campus is easier than on campus. Of the students surveyed 60 percent said sex was easier off campus, 30 percent were indifferent, while just 10 percent said that sex was easier to have or participate in the dorms. Sex on campus requires students to be escorted by their partner for the night to their rooms, they then have to be out by a certain time, and naturally walking in and out of the dorms of the opposite sex will draw attention.

These reasons propel students to take their sex off campus because it is easier without the rules. Recent Northwestern business administration graduate Christian Hammerl said, “I feel as though if people really want to do it they will find a way.” “Most people I would guess just prefer off campus because it’s easier to not deal with the rules and there is no chance for interruptions,” Hammerl said.

When asked if men view sex differently than women, 67 percent answered yes. But when the topic of sex is brought up in conversation between men and women, the topic is interpreted in different ways.

“For guys, it is like a bragging sort of thing,” said a student who took the survey. “The girl in the situation is now labeled a slut or whore for the same act that the guy is getting high fives for. It is completely a double standard. Not even with just sex but the idea of the dorms too. A girl that is seen going in and out of the guys’ dorms, multiple times, could be a virgin but will still be labeled a slut do to the perception of it all.”

In college-aged males, do they tend to focus on the physical aspects of a relationship? How they are stimulated, drawn or captivated by the sight of their partner. The visual or physical stimulation excites them quickly.

“I feel that it is viewed as more acceptable for men to want sex than for women,” according to a survey participant. Women have a different orientation that demands a varied approach. A woman is more focused on an emotional relationship in most cases. According to the results of the survey, students feel like they are left to figure it out on their own.

“I think sex is a conversation that needs to be had, not a topic that should be hidden, especially on college campuses,” said one survey participant. “I also think there should be free condoms and STD testing for Northwestern students. Sex is inevitable on and off campus and students need to be aware of the services available to them to help them in case they need it, such as birth control, STD and pregnancy testing. The more that we talk about sex on our campus, the less likely we are to have large issues regarding sex, such as rape, STDs and unplanned pregnancy.”

On Northwestern’s campus 18.4 percent of students are not concerned about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

“Every adult who is casually having sex with other people knows the consequences to their actions,” said a survey participant. “Let people make their own choices, so they can live and learn for themselves. Let people mature, it is their journey to learn from.”

Unknown to most students, the Alva community does offer services for college students free of charge. The Share Medical Urgent Care Center offers a student clinic for illness and treatment Monday, Wednesday and Friday, free of charge. The consultation itself is free but anything further, like an x-ray or medication is an extra cost.

These services do not include anything regarding sexual health. Share Medical Center does not offer mental health care, birth control, vaccines or STD testing. Students are encouraged to call before noon to guarantee an appointment. The appointments are at a first-come-first-serve basis.

However, the Woods County Health Department in Alva offers vaccines, contraceptive methods and STD testing.  A nurse practitioner is available three times per month for birth control appointments. STD testing is available Monday through Thursday 8:00a.m. -11:00am and 1:00p.m. – 4:00p.m.

One of the unique services offered at Woods County Health Department is a brown bag.  A student can walk in to the clinic any time of the day and ask for a brown bag. The student will receive a brown paper bag including six condoms, without questions asked.

The Woods County Health Department said they are willing to work with Northwestern and educate students about safe sex practices. They want students to know that contraception is available for free and without questions being asked.

An anonymous responder said, “Sex means different things to different people at different times. Sometimes it is in a loving relationship and sometimes it’s casual, but it is a private act. It is not anyone’s place to judge a person because of their sexual choices.”