As a part of the Transitions program for incoming Grand Valley students, professional speakers Dorian and Marshall present a program called "Healthy Relationships". This program is meant with the best intentions; however, it makes light of issues that should be taken with more seriousness, such as proper consent, what a healthy sexual relationship should look like, the reality of abstinence, and how to recognize and leave an abusive relationship.
Another major pitfall of this module is that it fails to warn students of the possibility of pregnancy. We may feel that it is obvious that sex leads to pregnancy, but how many students feel equipped to face the reality of becoming pregnant while in college? The Healthy Relationships module needs to address this by asking college students to imagine what they would have to do if faced with this situation. Would they keep their baby? Would they have to move home? Would they have to drop out of college and work instead? This is a real issue that too many college students have to face. The Healthy Relationships module has the ability to present this situation to students to help them grasp the seriousness of consenting to a sexual relationship while in college, and offering them alternatives.
According to the Centers for Disease Control survey from 2006-2010, the number of sexually experienced teenagers is declining significantly. 57% of females and 58% of males reported having never had any sexual relationship. This is the age group entering college as freshmen, and so the program should be more equally geared towards them.
It is important that Grand Valley educates their students on abstinence, how to consent, safe sex, what an abusive relationship looks like, and the possibility of pregnancy. We want our incoming freshman to be informed and prepared to deal with these situations so that they have the best possible experience during their time at Grand Valley. By signing this petition, you are agreeing that there needs to be a more serious side to the Healthy Relationships module and the addition of a pregnancy scenario. We love our school and our fellow students, and want to give them the best Transitions program yet!
As always, Go Lakers!