Pubdate: Wed, 04 Feb 2009
Source: Meliorist, The (CN AB Edu)
Copyright: 2009 The Meliorist
Author: Keith McLaughlin


The ULSU presents an awareness week geared towards issues of sex and 
substance use. Beginning Monday morning and lasting through Thursday 
evening, the ULSU will be hosting events designed to stimulate 
student discourse on aspects of student life, specifically sex, 
sexual health, use of drugs and alcohol, and abuse of drugs and 
alcohol.It all wraps up with a concert at the Zoo, featuring 
up-and-comers Chad VanGaalen and Michael Bernard Fitzgerald.

It's about SEX..

Sex is simply a part of student life. Young people feel both 
biological and social pressures to engage in sex. Sexual relations 
among young people can be random, and detrimental to one's health; 
they can be awkward, or embarrassing; they also can be meaningful, 
beautiful and fulfilling. These sexual outcomes - like all outcomes - 
are reflections of the choices one has made. Usually, the best 
choices are made when one has a good understanding about oneself and 
the situation at hand.

The sex component of the University of Lethbridge Students' Union 
(ULSU) Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll Week is meant to promote 
awareness of sexual health issues among the student population. The 
week also looks to promote ideas of sexual diversity and sexual 
understanding - both an understanding of how students perceive the 
sexuality of their peers, and of their own sexuality.

On Monday morning, students will notice the "Tunnel of Love" set up 
in the Atrium. The tunnel is an "interactive sexual awareness 
station," according to ULSU VP Academic Jenn Prosser, organizer of 
the Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll Week.

The tunnel may resemble a vagina, but VP Prosser says, "Students can 
decide what the physical representation may be."

Inside the tunnel exists a wealth of sexual information for students 
of all sexual orientations, providing a full representation of sexual 
information. The tunnel will be available for student inquisition 
until Wednesday next week.

Prosser says, "(The Tunnel) is a fun way to get people aware of 
issues like sexual health and sexual diversity."

Monday's sex theme continues with a very special appearance of Dan 
Savage on campus. Savage will be speaking next MONDAY NIGHT  7 PM in 
PE 250; admission to the talk is free.

Dan Savage is a controversial American sexual advice columnist, 
author, journalist, and editor. Savage's discussion of sexual issues 
is frank and often hilarious. He displays unashamed contempt for 
social conservatives and sexual prudes - not simply because Savage 
himself is gay, but because he feels sex itself - gay or straight - 
should not be a taboo topic for people to be scared of, or 
overly-moralize, in our society.

Savage is bold, and a very worthwhile speaker for students to check out.

"(Savage) promotes sexual diversity [.] its not your 
Sue-Johansson-missionary-position-sex talk; it's much more vibrant." 
Says VP Jenn Prosser.

It's about ROCK & ROLL.

If rock and roll is not part of your student experience, it really 
should be. Next Thursday, U of L students will have the opportunity 
to take in some homegrown, and up-and-coming acts, notably Chad Vangaalen.

Vangaalen will be headlining the concert that culminates the Sex, 
Drugs, and Rock Roll Week. Vangaalen is a Calgary-based sensation who 
is exploding right now - his lyrical and strumming prowess are 
drawing the singer-songwriter considerable, and mounting, acclaim.

Once signed to Sub Pop records in 2005, Vangaalen began to rise. His 
2006 album, Skelliconnection, was considered for the 2007 Polaris 
Music Prize, which is the most prestigious music award in Canada. His 
newly minted full-length album, Soft Airplane, has also been met with 
considerable praise. The single "Willow Tree" reached #1 on CBC Radio 
3's Charts last November.

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald and his band will join Vangaalen next 
Thursday. Fitzgerald is a former U of L student, and the same band 
that largely stole the show at last semester's Fresh Fest concert. 
Recently signed to a label, Fitzgerald and his bandmates are poised 
to return and deliver just as an energetic performance as they did 
last semester.

Opening for the two-featured acts is Calm as a Coma, a newly formed 
Calgary indie band.

Admission to the concert is $12, and is only open to University 
students who may bring one guest. It will be held in the ZOO: DOORS 

Also featured as part of the rock and roll emphasis of the week is a 
screening of the Neil Young documentary "Rust Never Sleeps." The 
screening is a joint venture of the ULSU and the newly formed 
University of Lethbridge Film Club.

The film will be shown on TUESDAY in L1060  6 PM. Admission is free, 
rush seating or mob rule in effect.

While organizer Jenn Prosser admits that the Neil Young documentary 
is not about awareness, she says she is proud to offer students a 
chance to view the film in a public environment, especially since it 
will not be shown anywhere else in Lethbridge.

"Neil Young is a Canadian rock god," she says. "I really love being 
able to present students with the opportunity to see something that 
they wouldn't see otherwise, because it won't be getting screened at 
the Movie Mill."

It's about DRUGS.

Drugs, much like sex, are simply a part of student life. They are 
part of societal life, too, and as much as we may view this as a 
negative, drugs are part of our culture.

Or at least that's the view of the speaker the ULSU is presenting 
next WEDNESDAY  NOON in THE ATRIUM. Jim Hilsenteger, a marijuana 
legalization advocate, will be presenting "The War on Drugs: Highly 
Publicized and Highly Taxed, Are We Really Getting What We Pay For?"

After his presentation, Hilsenteger will host an open forum where 
students and community members can discuss the issue of drug reform in Canada.

Hilsenteger is known for attacking Canada's prohibition of drugs - 
and America's "war on drugs" - on logistical grounds. He insists 
current drug policies in place in North America are ineffective, for 
the simple reason that drug use cannot be eliminated in our society, 
and that the handing over of the industry and its regulation to 
violent criminal enterprises is the wrong-and a very costly 
approach-both socially and economically.

Hilsenteger believes the marijuana industry should be legalized and 
relegated, much like the more socially destructive alcohol industry is.

Hilsenteger is by no means your conventional Canadian pot activist; 
he does not smoke pot, has never been known for doing drugs, and he 
is not like the sometimes-maligned Marc Emery, as ULSU VP Jenn 
Prosser explains.

"While Marc Emery stands outside an anti-drug dinner and smokes 14 
doobies with a bunch of protesters, Hilsenteger looks at 
institutional ways to change the laws through legal routes."

More than thirty years have passed since the Canadian government's 
own Le Dain Commission concluded that marijuana should be either 
decriminalized or legalized in Canada. Numerous and subsequent polls 
report that a growing majority of Canadians - 55 per cent in the poll 
from last June - support marijuana legalization.

Typical analyst consensus is that Canada will not, or cannot, move 
forward with reform out of fear for zealous American reprisal.

Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll is, at its core, an awareness week. It 
simply would not be complete without warnings about the danger and 
destructiveness that can stem from the abuse of alcohol.

Awareness of alcohol abuse is pertinent to the U of L - this school 
is known for its high concentration of "weekend warriors", and 
"mid-week warriors" - for that matter.

"Alcohol is a drug like any other, but it is more abused than any 
other," says VP Prosser.

"Especially in a student culture where binge drinking is the norm. To 
go out and get totally wasted on a Saturday, Friday, or Thursday 
Night, is applauded and augmented by many people."

Several displays around campus will be present addressing the issue 
of alcohol awareness and binge drinking throughout the week.
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MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart