Planned Parenthood speaker informs on different birth control methods

Planned Parenthood outreach specialist Rachel Snyder talked about the pros, cons and myths surrounding each type of birth control. In the context of the current political climate, Snyder also reassured attendees that contraceptives will be protected under Title X in New York State. (Annalee Bainnson/Assoc. Photo Editor)

To kick off Women’s Health Week, Geneseo Healthguards invited Planned Parenthood outreach specialist Rachel Snyder to give a talk titled, “Birth Control Options: What’s Right for You?” 

Planned Parenthood of Western New York guarantees private, non-judgmental reproductive health care to men, women and children; this includes their commitment to working with groups to increase knowledge about sexual health. They serve over 40,000 people per year in the western New York area. 

During the presentation, Snyder dispelled myths and gave overviews about methods of birth control, which encompassed long action and reversible methods, short-term options and emergency methods. 

Long action reversible contraception methods—frequently abbreviated as LARCs—includes intra-uterine devices, implants and shots. They are defined by the fact that the user does not need to remember to do anything—like take a pill—for an extended period after implementation and that they are reversible, unlike a vasectomy or hysterectomy. 

The most common method of these is the IUD. Snyder addressed the common misconception that IUDs are only for people who have already had children. More young people use IUDs as their form of birth control, however, due to the fact that they can last up to 12 years, depending on the brand and type. 

For college students, Snyder recommended the arm implant, known as Nexplanon. 

“The advantages to this is that there is no invasive gynecological exam, it’s not as permanent and there is less pain than an IUD since the cervix doesn’t need to be expanded,” Snyder said. 

The final method of long action reversible contraception methods is the shot Depo-Provera. This needs to be administered every three months. 

Snyder also talked about short-term methods of birth control, which included male and female condoms, birth control pills and the NuvaRing. 

Additionally, this section of the presentation featured videos on how to put on and use male and female condoms properly. Snyder warned against using both at the same time, however, as she said that this creates friction, which can cause an uncomfortable experience.

Snyder went on to mention the importance of using a water or silicone based method of lubrication with condoms, in order to dispel the friction that condoms may cause. 

Birth control pills, condoms and the ring are considered short-term methods of contraception because they both require regular action by the user. A common misconception about the ring and birth control pills is that they cause the user to gain weight, but this is untrue, according to Snyder.

To end her presentation, Snyder spoke about emergency contraceptives: the copper IUD and the morning after pill. Both options work up until five days after unprotected sex, with the copper IUD being the most effective. 

One type of morning after pill—called Ella—comes in second after the copper IUD in terms of its productiveness, as Ella is just as effective all five days. Plan B, while effective up until five days, only works best if taken within three days. 

In a question and answer session, attendees brought up the policies of the current administration in relation to reproductive rights. 

Many people came to Planned Parenthood right after Inauguration Day to get long-term contraceptives such as IUDs and implants because they were afraid that access to birth control would be limited, according to Snyder. Title X, which is well defended in New York State, protects a person’s right to contraceptives. 

“You still have nothing to worry about in regards to contraception,” Snyder said.

Energizing eggs to fuel your busy day

Getting through the day can be tough after eating a petite breakfast like cereal. While eggs are a great way to start the day, a complex recipe can take a long time; every second counts in the morning for college students. This recipe is quick and delicious, while still providing a hearty, filling breakfast.

Avocado & Tomato Omelette

Ingredients:

4 egg whites

2 medium-sized tomatoes

1/2 of an avocado

Directions:

1.    Dice the tomatoes and avocado in half; any size works.

2.    Heat a pan to medium and add the egg whites.

3.    When the egg whites cook through, flip them and start to 

break them up.

4.    Add the tomatoes to the pan while reducing the heat to 

medium-low.

5.    Wait one minute and then add the avocado.

6.    Let it cook for 30-40 seconds.

7.    Take off heat and serve immediately.

Pro tip: Sriracha is incredible on this dish.

Oxfam Banquet simulates income inequality through varying meals

The Oxfam Banquet is an annual event that serves to teach students about income inequality through a holistic approach. By dividing attendees into three different income groups and serving foods based on these incomes, students were able to see the differences in nutrition. (Ash Dean/Photo Editor)

Each year, over 2.5 billion people live in poverty around the world. The links between poverty and food are undeniable, and at the annual Oxfam Hunger Banquet, students gathered together to learn about the issue and how they can help.

In fact, every four seconds, a person—mostly children—dies from hunger or a preventative disease. Oxfam is a non-profit organization that helps those in poverty.   

“I want to join the Peace Corps,” English major sophomore Leah Christman said. “I think this is a good way to get an idea of what people I’m serving have gone through.” 

Childhood and special education major senior Conor Lynch and Area Coordinator for Monroe, Livingston, Genesee and Putnam Sawyer Green lead the Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development sponsored event.  

Using nametags, the committee assigned each student to one of three groups: upper, middle and lower income. 

Additionally, they handed the students a card with a name on it. Every name belonged to a real person who had benefited from Oxfam. Students could text Oxfam with the name of their assigned person and learn more about their story. This way, the simulation felt all the more authentic. 

Before the meal, Green and Lynch explained the impact of poverty and hunger on a global scale. After a brief overview in which the issues of poverty were described in terms of statistics, Green and Lynch asked participants from each group to stand up. 

Four people from the middle-income group were introduced, but due to a bad harvest and flooding, the four students had to move to the low-income group. For the middle class around the world, their fate was still precarious. A single bad harvest has the potential to push them below the poverty line and to endanger their families. 

Two people from the low-income group, however, moved to the middle income with the help of Oxfam. 

For a final moving example, two mothers were introduced to one another. One was a mother with a steady job who attended college and made her own organic baby food. The other was a young widow from China who earned just 73 cents per day. With a son and a daughter, she had to decide whether she could afford to send her daughter to school. 

After this sobering discussion, the meal was served. To simulate the experience of the relation between income and food, different meals were given to each group. 

The upper income group was given a nutritious meal at a table set with silverware, cloth napkins and china. Soda was served in glass pitchers. The middle group ate a simple meal of beans and rice in plastic bowls, sitting on chairs—and the lowest group, made of about 15 students, all had to share a single pot of rice while sitting on the floor. 

As the groups ate, students could see the impact of income on food.

“I think the simulation really worked out,” Green said. “We don’t really think about whether or not we’re going to eat on a daily basis—so seeing that we are part of that small table really makes an impact.” 

Lynch agrees; he thinks that this type of education will help him when he graduates and begins his career in teaching students.

“I’ll be looking at each student and not looking at a classroom,” he said. “Everyone has a different story.”

BSU Annual Soul Food Dinner celebrates female accomplishment

Geneseo’s Black Student Union hosted their annual Soul Food Dinner with the theme, “A Phenomenal Woman.” Freshman Amber Mayo (pictured above) participated in one of the dance performances during the Soul Food Dinner. (Annalee Bainnson/Assoc. Photo Editor)

Geneseo’s Black Student Union hosted their sold-out Annual Soul Food Dinner in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom on Saturday Feb. 25. While enjoying dinner, attendees watched theatrical, musical and dance performances from BSU club members.    

“We put on this event every year to express ourselves and demonstrate our culture,” sociology major junior Zakiya Rose said. 

To highlight the accomplishments of black women, the BSU executive board chose the theme “A Phenomenal Woman” for this year’s event. At the door, club members collected tickets, handed out flowers and thanked each female attendee for “being phenomenal.” 

For dinner, attendees enjoyed soul food staples: southern fried chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, candied yams, collard greens, peach cobbler and more. As they ate, audience members heard both the Black National Anthem and a reading of Maya Angelou’s poem—and inspiration for the night’s theme— “Phenomenal Woman.” 

“I really enjoyed the play and performances,” biology major sophomore Sydney Alexander said. “They really helped make the event a completely engaging experience. Anyone who couldn’t come or didn’t get a ticket this year should definitely come next year.” 

Although the dinner featured nearly three hours of student-run entertainment, the play—written and performed by members of BSU—distinguished itself as a favorite among audience members. Foregrounding the family drama that unfolds in the wake of a mother’s death, the play emphasized the theme “A Phenomenal Woman” by showcasing the resilience of three sisters. 

“My favorite part of the night was the variety of the acts performed,” history major senior Juliana Thompson said. “Between the acting, singing and dancing, we really experienced the whole package—however, I think that the play was the highlight.” 

As a culmination of their Black History Month events, the Annual Soul Food Dinner signifies one of BSU’s largest and most highly anticipated events. 

Throughout the month of February, the e-board coordinated both celebratory and informational events, including a screening of Nick Cassavetes’ film, John Q. BSU also sponsored a sweatshirt day on Saturday, for which they encouraged the community to wear hoodies in remembrance of Trayvon Martin. 

“I am so happy with the way that this event went,” communication major junior Alisa Mentor said. “The whole night went off without any major problems, and it’s really great to see so much support coming from the community.” 

While Black History Month came to an end on Tuesday Feb. 28, both BSU and Zeta Phi Beta—a historically black sorority—have events and programs planned throughout the rest of the semester, according to sociology major senior Emonnie Bennett. 

Zeta Phi Beta will host a concert on Friday March 3 at the Knight Spot to raise money for the March of Dimes, according to Bennett, who served as the 2016 BSU president and who choreographed dances for the 2017 dinner. 

Additionally, the sorority will host a Blue Allure Fashion Show at the Lederer Fine Arts Gallery this coming April.

PornHub provides inclusive sexual education

The majority of visitors on PornHub visit the site for a single reason—as offered to them at the click of a button. But as of late January, more of these visits to the Internet’s largest adult entertainment conglomerate may have an educational purpose in mind.

The “PornHub Sexual Wellness Center” officially went live on Jan. 31. Instead of pizza delivery men and pool boys, the site offers informative articles on topics ranging from reproductive health to sexuality to the physical body.

These articles are not just opinion pieces—each article has been researched and written by a team of doctors, therapists and sexologists. The site itself is directed under popular sexologist Dr. Laurie Betito, who runs her own private practice, hosts a sex-oriented radio show and has made several news appearances to talk about sex.

“[It] is an opportunity to reach a global audience and provide a source for healthy sexual education and dialogue,” Betito said. 

While the site may sound like a joke, it has established itself as anything but. Articles on the site are written to be inclusive of many different types of relationships, counteracting the largely heteronormative, religious and social morality-based sexual education in the United States. 

Gay, lesbian and transgender relationships are given the same intensive research and discussion that heterosexual ones are, as are ones that challenge the traditional views of monogamy. Thus, PornHub’s new site offers arguably one of the most inclusive sexual educations. 

The new site seems more critical now than ever, with users from the U.S. driving about 40 percent of the site’s visits, according to PornHub’s “2016 Year in Review.” Statistics surrounding the state of sexual education in the U.S. are daunting. 

Forty-three percent of teenage males and 53 percent of teenage females who are sexually active do not receive “formal instruction” on using contraception before they have sex, according to studies by the Guttmacher Institute. Even fewer of them—31 percent males, 46 percent females—learn where to obtain contraception. Regarding the origin of this lack of knowledge, 88 percent of schools allow parents the option to withdraw their children from sex education entirely.  

The statistics for non-heterosexual and non-cisgender persons are equally dire. Studies by the Center for Disease Control have found higher trends of bacterial vaginitis, syphilis and other sexually transmitted infections among LGBTQ+ persons. A study from the McCreary Centre Society has revealed that bisexual and lesbian youth are two-seven times more likely to become pregnant as teenagers compared to their straight peers. 

Additionally, for transgender individuals undergoing hormone therapy, there are multiple complications that can occur. Taking testosterone puts people at risk of liver disease, especially if taken orally. Taking estrogen, on the other hand, puts users at risk of high blood pressure and blood clotting, according to the Vanderbilt Medical School. These issues, even if brief, are rarely discussed in sexual education settings across U.S. schools.

Sexual education is much more than just physical health. In health classes, sexual education can be broadened to simply understanding persons of different orientations, which could potentially help bullied youth.  

PornHub’s site may not fix the entirety of America’s sexual education crisis, but it provides a step in the right direction.