Does your campus have a similar resource?
For 26 years SHADE (Sexual Health Awareness and Disease Education) has promoted sexual health among the student population at the University of Minnesota. With goals of providing access to a variety of reliable sexual health resources and increasing students’ ability to access reliable sexual health information, they are spreading sexual health awareness around and off campus. They currently serve around 2,400 students annually, but are always looking to expand!
SHADE provides various safer sex supplies (a variety of condoms, lubricants, and dental dams). They also hold presentations for those who are interested, table monthly at Coffman, and train volunteers by hosting volunteer meetings to provide educational sexual health content each week.
SHADE supports underrepresented/underserved students and all students by having inclusive language (appropriate gender pronouns etc.), expanding outreach to all students even those who are not sexually active to ensure they have access to knowledge, building partnerships with student cultural centers, working with other on-campus programs (such as Aurora center), and making their resources available to everyone!
This year SHADE has began implementing a more professional and discreet route to their free and confidential services. Based on student feedback from several focus groups they conducted, students, especially international students, mentioned they would prefer access to sexual health tools in a more private way. Some ways they have implemented this feedback have been:
Removing their mascot to increase the professionalism
Increased confidential methods to receiving supplies including piloting a safer sex supply delivery program and expanded access through clinical visits
Once a month – tabling (answering questions, tools,etc )
Weekly volunteering meetings talking about how to respond best to students and more! Volunteer meetings are open to the public every Thursday 11:30- 12:30 pm
SHADE is always open to feedback from students
While SHADE does not have any official off-campus partners, they do have off-campus supplies available at various residences not owned by the university.
Though SHADE only has one physical office space located in Boynton, supplies are still available in the Boynton St. Paul Clinic, and in all campus residence halls.
UnGuide representatives asked:
What’s an important thing that you hope/want people to know about you as a resource?
That SHADE is always free, without judgment, willing to answer all kinds of questions all the time via email and/or open doors, has lots of resources and can have questions answered. You don’t have to be sexually active to use SHADE as a resource to answer your sexual health questions.
What’s an important thing that you hope people leave with after they have utilized the resources here?
Not only does SHADE make sure people have access to resources, but that individuals also have knowledge about using resources (tools) – boynton.com/safersex101.