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What a Long Way We’ve Come: Michaela Felter on Students for Equality in Education

Name: Michaela Felter

Year: Senior

Organization: Students for Equality in Education (SEE)

One Thursday morning I met with the charming and confident Michaela Felter in Einstein’s. One of her very obvious philosophies about life is the importance of talking about sex. Michaela volunteers at a Planned Parenthood health clinic about fifteen minutes away from CNU. Michaela has also taken the initiative in her senior year to pioneer a sex-positive club on campus; the club is Students for Equality in Education and is a Generation Action chapter through Planned Parenthood.

Michaela found a lot of unnerving signs of ineffective sex education on college campuses, including CNU.  In a lot of institutions, there is “sub-par education… focusing on nothing but consent. Nobody knows all the forms of contraception available to them… a lot of people don’t recognize the signs of abuse… and there are so many unplanned pregnancies, even here at CNU.” Michaela admits to knowing around four or five of these accidental occurrences. To counteract this exclusive education, this club will bring “…sex positivity to campus…[help students be] open about sex… and talk about sex in general,” says Michaela.

What inspired you to create something like this?

“I was a crew leader over the summer and we had no talk about sex.” (As a freshman in this past summer’s orientation, I can attest to this. Many important topics arose, but never sex.) “The amount of women that come to me and ask me questions about sex… I just feel like this weird Sherpa…[teaching people] how to have good sex.” Colleen Burke was also given a huge shoutout multiple times for presenting the idea to Michaela.

What do you hope to see as a result of this organization being implemented on campus?

“I hope to see people that are okay with talking about sex as a less taboo topic. It’s this need of our population that isn’t being met… [It’s] a part of your adult life. I know so many people who have sex and are interested in having these conversations. I want to mobilize it [and have] a dialogue about it. I want to create an environment with less self-shame about having sex…. Also, I want people to masturbate more.”

What kind of things do you have planned for the club?

“For this semester, an online resource CNU kids can go to for information on contraception, unhealthy relationships, organsm 101.” Later in the year, she has things planned like a Planned Parenthood course held on campus. It would be a 3-part series that would promote sex positivity. Michaela also wanted to emphasize that it would be an all-inclusive environment; students that are more conservative in the sexual realm along with students with more experience in the area will be welcomed with open arms. Everyone’s views are to be respected.

Have you been involved in something like this before?

“No, not really. I used to have a purity ring in middle school and toward the beginning of high school. What a long way we’ve come, literally in some sense… I didn’t really realize that you could make an official club or an official movement.”

Why, in your senior year, did you feel a push to do this?

Assuring me that there will be sophomore and juniors to “take the reins,” Michaela mentioned her motivations for this movement:  “I’m a women and gender studies minor… I like giving advice on it; It’s what I like to read about. This is something that just needs to happen. I just wanted to do something to this campus before I left.”

Michaela also mentioned that she’s “…a fan of the shock factor,” and hoping one day that shopping for sex toys and saying clitoris in Einstein’s may be normalized.

“Michaela for Sex, 2016”

Is there anything else you would like to mention about the organization?

“I just really want to emphasize that it is for everyone… I want students to feel like they’ll get information.” She reiterares that the club will be all-inclusive, with information on sex with disabilities, LGBTQ+ sex, sex for conservative students, and so much more.

Something I noticed while doing personal research: The next Pleasure 101 session hosted by Planned Parenthood that is happening in Richmond would cost $20. The implementation of SEE on campus would make this information more accessible to students, as we’re all broke pretty much all the time.

CNU has made some magnificent strides in sex safety, but now we need to delve deeper into sex positivity as a community.

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