Skip to content
Scroll to the top of the page

News Article

S.H.A.G. Week - A Note From Your VP Welfare

Hello, and welcome to Strath Union’s S.H.A.G. Week!

SHAG week

From the 14th of January (National STI Awareness Day) to the 21st of January, we at Strath Union will be hosting Sexual Health Awareness & Guidance Week – a tradition which we are reviving and hope to continue annually!

SHAG Week campaigns take place at universities and colleges across the country and are an opportunity for students to have open and honest conversations about sexual health, to highlight resources and provision available to us students around sexual health and safer sex, and often an opportunity to drive students to get STI tests!

For #StrathSHAGWeek2023, we’ve got a whole host of activities, workshops, opportunities, and other fun things planned to start tackling the stigma surrounding sexual health, to give an opportunity to our students that maybe haven’t had the best experiences (or any experiences) with safe sex education a chance to talk about it and maybe even learn a thing ortwo, and come together to campaign on making sexual health provision at Strathclyde better for all students now and in the future! Some of the events we have lined up include:-

  • Promo Drinks & Food: The Terrace will be serving a special guest cocktail, shot, and special pasta dish throughout the whole week, check it out and see what it’s all about!
  • Split Banana Events: It’s no understatement that a great sex education is life-changing. From recognising that pleasure is a crucial part of understanding consent, to hearing relationship stories which reflect your experiences, to seeing different bodies, sexualities and perspectives celebrated. It encourages us to be more empathetic, resilient, healthier and happier. That’s why we want lots of different people, indifferent spaces, to be having these conversations! Split Banana facilitator, Tessa, will be hosting a series of workshops on Sex Education throughout the week to host some of these conversations and help us learn more about safe and healthy sex and relationships from ourselves and from each-other –one to not miss!
  • Coppafeel & GU Boob Club: We are the Uni Boob Team representing CoppaFeel! on campus at University of Glagsow. CoppaFeel! want to live in a world where all breast cancers are diagnosed at theirearliest stage -giving everyone the best possible chance of surviving the illness. And we want to help CoppaFeel! make this vision a reality. Boob team are here to: encourage you to check your boobs regularly, educate you on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, empower you to seek advice from a doctor if symptoms persist. And when we're not busy shouting about boob-checking, we're fundraising to support the life-saving work that CoppaFeel! do. They target young people across the UK, from schools to universities, festival fields and everywhere in between to make sure everyone has the best chance of surviving breast cancer. Boob Team will be hosting a stall on Wednesday, so swing by and have a chat!
  • HIV Scotland: The delivery and experiences of services of sexual health and blood borne virus (SHBBV) services have been changed considerably following the COVID-19 pandemic. HIV Scotland, through funding from the Scottish Government, is seeking to use the community perspective of those who have or who have tried to access sexual services and the perceptions of these following the COVID-19 pandemic and relevant easing of associated lockdown measures in their Sexual Health service Access, Resilience, and Expertise (SHARE) project. As part of this, HIV Scotland will be on campus Thursday and Friday, sharing a bunch of information on raising awareness of HIV, sexual health, and also promoting their survey where you could win £250 –so check it out!
  • “Sex, Life and Uni” with Max Hovey: Max is on a mission to break down gender stereotypes, body norms and the stigmas surrounding sex. Join him for this one hour talk, where he will be taking your questions and covering everything from safe sex, respect and consent to dating and tips for good sex!
  • Sexual Health Resource Hub & Stall: Throughout the whole week and beyond, we will have a whole host of resources easily available at our Sexual Health Resource Hub (found here)[], and we’ll be hosting an information stall on Tuesday so you can swing by and grab some resources in person.
  • Free Condoms: Alongside our normal offering of free condoms thanks to NHS Scotland (big up the NHS) –where you can grab a variety of condoms and sexual health products such as lube, insertable condoms, and others –we have a LIMITED EDITION run of Strath Union branded condoms. Rep the brand on your next one-night stand and please use responsibly!
  • STI Testing On-Campus

Now, we would have LOVED to have provided on-campus STI Testing –what is normally a huge part of any SHAG Week campaign and is an excellent opportunity for students’ to easily and get tested for STIs and Blood Borne Viruses (STI/BBVs) in a safer and supported environment. Unfortunately, we couldn’t manage this year –and its not our fault. Glasgow’s sexual health services are just too busy for the amount of resource they receive. We wanted to have Sandyford, Glasgow’s Sexual Health Clinic, come to Strath Union and run testing, but they don’t have enough time or enough money to engage with us in this capacity.We then tried to contact Terrence Higgins Trust –a charity dedicated to campaigning and educating on HIV and wider sexual health –as they often work with us and the Uni in providing STI Testing, but they too are at capacity, and even have difficulty working in Glasgow as sexual health services should be operated by Sandyford.

So if you’re like me and think that’s not on, then join me in signing our Open Letter asking for more resources to be dedicated to Sandyford so they can do a better job for us as students, and asking for the local NHS Board to sit down with the student community to discuss how we can do better for students’ sexual health moving forward. You can find the open letter here. Please sign, share, and help us make real change! We’ll be sending the letter to the Glasgow City Council and Glasgow NHS Health Board at the ned of the week, so let’s get as many signatures as we can!

Here at Strath, we love to have a bit of fun, and this week will be no exception. With a whole host of fun and engaging opportunities for you to get involved, we would love for you to get stuck in, get involved, and be part of it! We also know that a lot of our students here at Strathclyde might not be comfortable discussing what can often be an uncomfortable and possibly traumatic or triggering topic –so throughout this campaign we have a number of things in place to help protect our students that may be affected negatively by this campaign. These include:

  • Highlighting our Advice Hub service here, and the University ‘Rosey Project’ and Report & Support service for students to reach out to if they need someone to talk to regarding these issues, or wish to report any incident.
  • Asking all of our students while engaging and having fun with this campaign to be respectful and considerate of ourselves, other students, and others in the university community –and remind our students to adhere to the Union’s Code of Conduct at all times.
  • Noting that, though the Union is happy to celebrate and work to support our student population that chooses to be sexually active, the Union is a place where those students who choose not to be are welcome and encouraged to participate –we welcome any and all activity that any student or student group may wish to participate in to highlight a disagreement in stance on this issue, so long as this activity follows the behaviour expected and outlined in the previous point.
  • Reminding all our students that these opportunities to participate and engage are entirely voluntary, and students can choose not to get involved if they are not comfortable or for any reason –staff and volunteers involved in running the campaign have been briefed on this and will not engage with students that are clear in not wanting to engage, and all opportunities will be opt-in where possible

And that’s all folks! Thanks so much for taking the time to read this article. I hope you’re now well versed in all things S.H.A.G. Week and are keen to get involved! Make sure you share the opportunities on offer with all your pals, check out the campaigns page for more info, and join us in making the first ever #StrathSHAGWeek2023 a huge success!

As always, big love xoxox

*note* edited to remove mention of 'first' SHAG Week at Strath Union - this would have been our 3rd with the most recent SHAG Week previously taking place in February 2017.


Accessibility Tools