Lydia McKay looks at the options available on the DCU campus for students concerned about their sexual health.
Sexual health is one of the most taboo topics that young people just don’t seem to address correctly. While a lot of people adopt a “sure it’ll be grand” attitude towards their misdemeanours, we should all be more aware of what we can do to look after our bodies.
 
Going to college may correspond with your sexual awakening, so you may as well become familiar with what your campus can do for your sexual health. This article in particular is targeted towards all you sex-crazed students in Dublin City University.
 
First off, DCU has an excellent Health Centre to help out students with any sort of ailment that may be bothering them. The Student Health Service is located in the Henry Grattan Building and is open from 9:30 to 5pm on weekdays. As long as you don’t mind getting up early to queue, you can receive a free consultation with the nurse or, if needed, a visit with the GP is only €20.
 
The Health Centre runs a “Chlamydia Clinic” which provides students with support and advice regarding STDs. As it says on the DCU website: “The clinic offers health education to a student on the various sexually transmitted infections and a urine test to detect Chlamydia for a small nominal fee.”
 
Similar to many other colleges, DCU runs an annual “SHIFT week” to promote sexual health and awareness. This year, the Student Union ran several workshops and events regarding sexual health, consent and contraception, and also provided free STD tests for students in need.
 
The SU is also running another minor STD week called “STIgma is Spreading” to specifically promote STD checks for students.
 
Cody Byrne, SU Welfare Officer at DCU, said that he would like to see even more emphasis on STDs and more clarity on what consent is – rather than the “oversimplification" of "‘yes means yes, no means no, if you’re drunk, someone was assaulted’ etc.”
 
The Welfare Officer is another point of call if a student wishes to discuss their sexual health. The SU provides free condoms to promote safe sex, but even if you just need to chat about a problem, Cody Byrne is there to listen.
 
“The most important thing [students] should keep in mind is that you don’t have to be a sex crazed fiend to enjoy college life. It does not have to be like Skins or Misfits, you know?”
 
Finally, the pharmacy on campus is fully equipped to help with your sexual health. There is no need to feel embarrassed if you need to ask the pharmacist for the morning after pill or thrush cream; there is probably nothing they haven’t heard before so let them help you help yourself.