Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Planned Parenthood club begins breaking taboos

Plattsburgh State now joins more than 300 colleges and universities with a Planned Parenthood Generation club, educating the campus on safe sex as well as advocating for services the local Planned Parenthood offers.

Meghan Corrigan, senior gender and women’s studies and political science double major, was introduced to the idea of a Planned Parenthood Generation club by Shelby Gonyo, a PSUC alum who is now Plattsburgh’s Planned Parenthood’s external affairs coordinator.

Gonyo graduated after a full-time internship at the Plattsburgh Planned Parenthood. While there, she laid the foundation for a Generation club.

In May, Corrigan picked up the torch and is now president for the club’s first semester.

“My motivation for starting this club on campus comes from my desire to improve the campus community and to ensure students are aware of all resources that are available to them,” Corrigan said.

While the club is an advocate for the services offered by Planned Parenthood, the club also wants to change the atmosphere when it comes to sexuality in student lives.

“We focus on sex positivity, safe sex and ensuring students have the information they need about accessing affordable health care,” Corrigan said.

The club advocates for the programs and health services offered at Planned Parenthood which include sexual education, birth control supplies, STI testing and other services regarding the reproductive systems.

One of the larger messages the club wants to get across to students is accessibility. Planned Parenthood is less than a mile from campus located at 66 Brinkerhoff St.

“It’s kind of mindblowing that students didn’t know a Planned Parenthood was in the area,” Gonyo said.

On her end, she thinks college students would want to take advantage of a health service located off campus for privacy and offers a wider array of services than the Student Health and Counseling Center.

Vice President Ryann Senzon, senior public relations and political science double major, wants to make the club a safe place to discuss student’s questions and concerns about sex.

She knows that sex can be a taboo topic to discuss openly.

“For the most part, everyone is doing it,” Senzon said. “If you aren’t educated, you risk harming your body by doing it.”

Senzon recognizes her high school sexual education class may have gone beyond what others may have experienced.

Because most people do not receive an in-depth education on sexual health, she said it’s important students are aware of the best practices for safe sex, especially while in college. On top of their student education outreach, the club is also committed to keeping students informed on their reproductive rights.

“We want to get students fired up about what’s happening in the world [regarding their bodies]”

Corrigan is hoping to inspire a change in PSUC students through events hosted by both the club and the Plattsburgh Planned Parenthood.
Corrigan hopes to give students a platform to make changes in their communities.

“As well as giving them a space to solve such problems in a creative and productive way,” Corrigan said.

She hopes members will be able to use the skills and knowledge they gain from the club in their futures to be advocates for all. Planned Parenthood Generation’s first meeting will be at Tuesday, 7 p.m., in meeting room 2 in the Angell College Center.

Students interested in the club’s work or events are encouraged to come. Updates on meeting times and club events can be found on its social media.

Email Jacob Elsbree at cp@cardinalpointsonline.com

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