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UTEP ranks low in Trojan Sexual Health Report Card

Special to the Prospector

The Sexual Health Report Card, a study conducted by Trojan, the condoms company, ranked UTEP in the bottom 20 of 140 universities across the country.

Ranked at 124 in the 2013 study, UTEP has not fared well in the past three years. In 2011 the university ranked 127 and improved at 120 in 2012.

Every year, Trojan conducts the study and collects information from university health centers in order to evaluate the sexual health resources and information that universities provide to students.

Some criteria are hours of operation, quality of sexual health information on the health centers’ website, contraceptive and condom availability, HIV and STI testing on site, lecture outreach programs, student peer groups, sexual assault programs and overall website usability and quality.

Business Manager at the UTEP Student Health Center, David Porras, said that he is proud of what the center offers to students. Porras said neither he nor anyone at the center were contacted in regards to the study. He doesn’t believe the ranking represents the quality of the Student Health Center.

“We are here for the students’ purpose, our philosophy is a healthy mind and a healthy body is a healthy Miner,” Porras said.

According to Porras, the Student Health Center is not associated with student peer groups and sexual assault programs—two of the 11 resources that conductors of the study search for.

Porras also stated that as of this year, the Student Health Center will not be providing free condoms because Trojan is no longer providing them free to the university.

Trojan ranked UTEP number 124 among among universities nationwide in their annual sexual health report card.
Trojan ranked UTEP number 124 among among universities nationwide in their annual sexual health report card.

“We would love to provide as many free services as we could, but like everything else, we are on a budget,” Porras said. “But we do have very reasonable prices.”

Sperling’s Best Places, an independent research company based in Portland, Ore., conducted the study for Trojan.

President of Sperling’s Best Places, Burt Sperling, said that out of all the other studies they have conducted in the past, this was the study that they were proudest of.

“This study is providing information to the students and also how they can raise the level of awareness,” Sperling said.

Although Porras said that he was not contacted about this study, Sperling said that he contacted Porras via email as he does with every university.

He said that many times it is confusion about the study that leads to a lack of response.

“We do everything we can to ensure that the health centers are contacted and informed about the study,” Sperling said.

Sperling said that if health center officials do not complete their two page questionnaire, the researchers will take the survey and answer the questions as if they were the student and use the center’s website as a tool to conduct their ranking.

“We also do web searches and look for universities and see if their health centers are on Facebook,” he said. “We also look to see if there are peer groups that provide students with information about sexual health.”

Sperling said student health center’s websites are the most important in regards to the ranking because it provides students with necessary information on sexual health.

When looking at the UTEP Student Health Center website, it does provide information such as hours of operation and a list of the services the center provides for women and men, but fails to provide information regarding sexual health and resources, a significant factor in this ranking.

Junior pre-nursing major Sonia Chavez said she feels the Student Health Center does provide students with the necessary tools to be sexually healthy.

“They frequently offer free HIV testing and other services at a fair price, and everything else needed for students to be safe and check themselves,” Chavez said. “It just takes self-will for students to actually use the resources provided.”

Porras says that UTEP students are not hesitant to ask for help when it comes to sexual health.

“They are open to information and we are here to provide them with it,” he said. “We have booklets in the waiting area and when we go to the different functions that we have here at the university, I always have booklets on sex—safe sex.”

Amanda Guillen may be reached at the [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Amanda Guillen, Editor-in-Chief
Amanda Guillen is a senior multimedia journalism major with a minor in women's studies. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and graduated from El Paso High School in 2011. She has been a part of The Prospector since summer 2013 and is currently Managing Editor. She has always had a passion for journalism and plans to become a television news reporter upon graduating from UTEP. In addition to being a full-time student and reporter, she is a part of two honor societies on campus, Alpha Lambda Delta and the National Society of Leadership and Success where she participates in community service regularly. Amanda also interns for KVIA Channel 7 the El Paso affiliate of ABC. Her love for the city of El Paso is something that led her to choose UTEP as her school of choice. She has enjoyed her past 3 years at the university and looks forward to an eventful school year.
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UTEP ranks low in Trojan Sexual Health Report Card