Kelly Grove is most known on campus as the lady who wears a vulva suit and gives presentations on sex. Grove has become a trailblazer for teaching sexual education on Florida State’s campus and was recently recognized for her work by the Pride Student Union. My most memorable moment of Grove is listening to her presentation about masturbation at the Women Student Union’s leadership conference. In that presentation, I learned more about sex education than in my 10 years of public school. And as Kelly always says, “If you know better, do better.” So meet her, learn from her and then do better.
Name: Kelly Grove, MS
Official Title: Sexual Health Coordinator in the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness (CHAW)
Her Campus (HC): What does a sexual health coordinator do?
Kelly Grove (KG): I have a few different roles: I plan and present at campus and community events focused on sexuality. I go into classrooms, resident halls, student organizations and other groups across campus to give presentations on sexual health. I provide sexual health education to students in the Sexual Health Clinic at University Health Services. I provide one-on-one Sexual Health Consultations to FSU students free of charge. Students can come to me with their questions about sex, sexual identity, gender identity, sexual function and desire issues and all other sexuality topics. I improve free access to safer sex products through campus condom distribution and by providing a wide variety of sex products in the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness. I run the Sexual Health Team which is made up of students, staff, faculty and community members who care about the sexual health of FSU students. Together we plan events, programs and messaging to improve sexual health on campus.
HC: Why is this important?
KG: Sexual education in the United States is severely lacking and the vast majority of our students have not had comprehensive sex education. Not educating individuals about sexuality leads to grave results. Leon County has the highest rates of Chlamydia and Gonorrhea in the state of Florida. Florida has the highest rate of HIV in the United States. 1 out of 5 college women will be sexually assaulted by the time they graduate. 90% of people with disabilities will be raped in their lifetime. And suicide rates among LGBTQIA+ youth are higher than any other demographic. We can bring these statistics down by teaching students about safer sex, consent and sexual diversity. Education is the key to healthier and safer sexual lives.
HC: Recently you won an award from the Pride Student Union for staff member of the year. Do you mind sharing more about that?
KG: Winning Pride Student Union Staff Member of the Year is the best accolade I could have possibly asked for. It was so moving to be chosen. Our LGBTQIA+ students face a tremendous amount of discrimination, prejudice and shaming. And almost none of our LGTBQIA+ students have had formal, inclusive sexuality education. My goal is to make sure all students feel welcome, accepted, respected and heard in my office and classroom. I want the LGBTQIA+ students to know that I am their ally. I love the Pride Student Union and have collaborated with them on several projects. We are such a natural fit to work together because we are both sex-positive, celebrate diversity and support inclusion.
Courtesy: Kelly Grove
HC: I have attended a couple of the workshops and presentations you have done with the Women Student Union, but what is your favorite one to do?
KG: Every presentation is fun and unique. I think what makes a presentation great is the involvement of the audience. I love when students ask questions, challenge me, share experiences, laugh at my jokes and really engage with the material. We need to talk more about sex. We need to break down those taboos and really start talking about it. Only then can we really take on Rape Culture, bring down STIs, improve sexual pleasure, dispel sexuality myths, fight heterosexism and begin to rewrite our culture in a way that is healthier for everyone. These might sound like lofty and impossible goals, but I am confident that education is the key to accomplishing them. This is why I love my job and am so passionate about it. I really believe that by engaging with each other on these issues, we can change lives.
HC: How can students get in contact or visit you?
KG: There are a few ways that students can get involved with sexual health and the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness (CHAW).
They can ask to be added to the CHAW email list. They will then find out about CHAW events and programs focused on a variety of health topics, including sexuality. To be added email me at email@example.com.
They can join the Sexual Health Team and help plan sexuality programming and initiatives on campus. To join, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
They can schedule an STI test by calling 850-644-4567
They can pick up free safer sex products in CHAW (located on the 4th floor of HWC)
They can invite me to come present to their group by visiting http://chaw.fsu.edu/services/presentations
They can schedule a free one on one sexual health consultation by calling 850-644-8871
HC: Is there anything else you want to share or let us know?
KG: You can find out more about sexual health and CHAW by visiting our website: chaw.fsu.edu