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Q and A with the President of Bedsider U

The Tiger sat down with Madison Gregoris, President of Bedsider U and the author of a recent CUSG resolution in support of free condoms in dorms at Clemson, to talk about her club’s 
work on campus. Discussing what it means to have healthy sex and where their work on campus is headed next, Gregoris gave us an inside look into Bedsider U and the pulse on campus when it comes conversations about sex.


The Tiger News (TTN): For those that don’t know, can you tell me a little bit about the club itself? 

Madison Gregoris (MG): So Bedsider U is a club that promotes safe sex and the use of birth control, especially to college students. We mainly organize events; we partner with other groups on campus as well as hosting events on our own. We table, we do things like Sex Trivia, Sex Olympics (both fun), and the goals of all these events are to provide all types of stuff (condoms, coozies, chapstick etc.) to students on campus but even more importantly to educate them about birth control methods as well as healthy and safe sex. 


TTN: What exactly does “healthy sex” mean? How do you achieve it?

MG: I think the best definition of healthy sex is one where both (or however many) partners are completely comfortable with what is going on and neither are at risk. And “at risk” can mean a lot of things – there’s a risk of STIs, there’s the risk of unplanned pregnancies, so I think when you’re having sex with someone it’s important to talk about boundaries, to talk about who is comfortable doing what and to use condoms – especially when not sleeping with a long-term partner. Also, I would like to add that obviously consent is mandatory – but I feel like bringing that up is almost redundant because sex that both parties hasn’t consented to is rape. 


TTN: Why is it so important to talk about sex on college campuses? 

MG: I think it’s essential to talk about sex on college campuses because regardless of whether or not you personally are having sex – someone you know is. Some people didn’t receive the best sex education in their high schools, or in their homes, if they received one in either place. Sex, when gone about in a healthy matter, is fun and a natural thing for humans to do; so when going about it people should be as informed as possible so they can make decisions that are best for them and for their bodies. 


TTN: Clemson is considered a “family” or traditionally more conservative school. Have you seen evidence of that in the way we do or don’t talk about sex? How can we begin to change that?

MG: I think the only way that the “family” aspect that Clemson pitches and the conservative climate go hand-in-hand is the idea that “traditional” families don’t really talk about sex. I’ve definitely seen evidence in the student body of a lack of comfortability when it comes to talking about sex – especially when I’m passing out condoms on 
Library Bridge. Sex shouldn’t have to be a weird, uncomfortable or taboo topic. I think that as a society we’re very sexualized, yet still very uncomfortable talking about sex. I think a good way to change that is to first acknowledge that yeah, some Clemson students are having sex, so let’s talk about it and be educated about it and do it safely and responsibly. 


TTN: You recently authored a resolution supporting the distribution of free condoms in Clemson residence halls. Why did you feel like this was a necessary or critical action to take?

MG: Well, while it’s not an epidemic we have seen a serious rise in the number of STIs on campus – specifically chlamydia and gonorrhea. This is going to lead to an unsafe and unhealthy 
campus, which is not something that anybody wants. I feel as though if student government can do something about it, we absolutely should. Not to mention – colleges across the nation provide free condoms in their on campus residence halls and we shouldn’t be behind in that department. 


TTN: What’s something all students should know about healthy sex?

MG: Consent is mandatory and protection is key.


TTN: What do you think are the next steps for your work on creating a campus that has healthy sex?

MG: I think that it’s truly a campus-wide effort. I think that the implementation of condoms in residence halls is going to be a huge step toward having a healthier campus. I think once we acknowledge the fact that students on our campus are having sex, dialogues will become more comfortable, it will be a less awkward topic in general. More free resources would be another great step, as well as more accessible STI testing and more accessible women’s health materials as well.


TTN: What should students take away from the club and how can interested students join?

MG: Every time we get together it’s really a fun time, we don’t do meetings in classrooms, we usually get to make at least 10 students a day blush when we hand out condoms on the Bridge – and most importantly we get to make uncomfortable situations and conversations more comfortable. If someone has questions about birth control methods, or just sex in general, it’s awesome to be able to provide that resource. Interested students can email me at [email protected] !

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