A Condom on a Banana is Simply Not Enough

By Emma Gilpin

This year’s Freshers’ Week saw a great deal of controversy surrounding the Sexual Consent Workshops that were being held in Oxford and at several other universities. After the Daily Mail published an article entitled “Oxbridge freshers are to get classes in sexual consent that teach them how not to rape their fellow undergrads”, many people were outraged and at universities such as York, students boycotted these talks, claiming that they did not wish to be “patronised”. It is of course easy to argue, as one York undergraduate did, that “if students really need lessons in how to say yes or no then they should not be at university.” Aside from the other issues raised by these claims, such as the fact that these consent talks are geared towards students of university age and are actually likely to provoke interesting, nuanced debates, there is the question of why these talks are needed. NUS figures have shown that 1 in 5 students experiences some form of sexual assault during their first week at university. So whilst these talks may seem patronising to some, this is not because they are unnecessary; it is because many students arrive at university with inadequate knowledge of safe and healthy sexual behavior and relationships.

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Pills and Policies at NHS Expo 2015: The Need for Health Innovation

It’s my first time traveling to Manchester, and despite the 5-hour coach ride on a stuffy Megabus, I’m looking forward to it. This isn’t just because my whole existence revolves around London and I desperately need an escape, or because ‘The North’ is somewhat mysterious to me, but because I have managed to secure free tickets to the biggest NHS event of the year: the annual Health and Innovation Expo.

On arrival, I find my way to Manchester Central, just opposite the grand Milibank Hotel. Aqsa (my Mancunian HumSci buddy) is waiting for me, ready to explore the conference. Having recently completed an internship at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, she informs me that the city is at the forefront of health technologies in the UK, and it is no coincidence that this is where the expo is. I am excited.

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