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Hello, and welcome to Strath Union’s S.H.A.G. 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:-
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:
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.