Community Connections | Take charge of your sexual health


According to the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA), “One in two sexually active persons will contract a STI by the age of 25.” That is a very intimidating statistic, but it is something that can be improved with knowledge. There are resources available on campus and in the community to help you take charge of your sexual health. If you are going to be sexually active, you should be responsible.

Many college students are transitioning from being a juvenile to an adult. In that stage, a lot of exploration happens, and there are numerous new things to try. Unfortunately, they might not have the knowledge needed to go with these new experiences. The other problem is not having resources available, or not knowing about available resources.

UW-Parkside has a Student Health and Counseling Center (SHCC). The SHCC is located on campus behind Tallent hall, and the number is 262-595-2366. It is open Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays it is open from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

The SHCC provides many services to help you prevent and treat Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), as well as reproductive health and planning. Pregnancy tests, HIV test, contraceptive supplies, and counseling for reproductive health concerns are available to students. You can receive the vaccination for Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV).  STI testing, pelvic examinations, STI treatment, and emergency contraceptive – Plan B and Ella are also available in the center.

Planned Parenthood is another resource that is available that is available in the community. They provide many services, and some of them can also be free based on your income. The number is 262-654-0491, and the address is 3601 Roosevelt Road in Kenosha. They are open Mondays from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays their hours are from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. They are closed Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

They provide women and men’s healthcare. Birth control, pregnancy testing and pregnancy services are available. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) testing is another important service available. They also provide testing, treatment and vaccinations for STIs. They have appointments as well as walk ins for things such as emergency contraceptives.

Take charge of your sexual health and be an advocate for yourself. You are the only one that can protect you. Take advantage of the resources available to you and become knowledgeable.  There are some diseases that are sexually transmitted, and they have no cure. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”


A Message from Nature | Bloodshed in environmentalism


Something I don’t hear about too often is the bloodshed involved in environmental activism occurring around the planet. Industry continues to engulf the world, and is pushing its way into every untapped natural resource, every land that never belonged to them. There are people who are fighting back and speaking up about the environment. There are people who dedicate their lives to defend the land and to defend each other. Often they are the original people of the land, the Indigenous people with cultures, roots and livelihoods tied directly to the environment in which they live. And increasingly so, those who speak out are targeted, and killed, in order to silence the message that they carry.

Countries in Latin America and Southeast Asia have the highest rates for these murders, with Brazil and the Philippines being the most deadly countries for environmental activism. Most of the violence takes place over land rights disputes, involving huge industries–the main ones being mining, agribusiness, damming, logging and poaching–and the the indigenous communities of the area. Members of these industries often partner with gangs and militia, and in this way they are able to kill those in opposition without repercussions.

Last year, a documented 197 people have been murdered due to their environmental protests, which averages to four people a week. The numbers have been compiled by Global Witness, a group who has been keeping track of these specific types of murders since 2002. Since then, over 1,000 murders have been documented, with the true number believed to be far higher. Some of the more well-known victims include nun and environmentalist Dorothy Stang and indigenous land rights environmentalist Bertha Cáceres. Yet far more victims have gone unnamed and unreported, and usually none get justice in the end.

I still remember when I was first exposed to this information. It was in my Peoples of Southeast Asia class, an anthropology course I took here at Parkside two years ago. I learned about this beautiful ceremony in the northern forests of Thailand, where monks wrapped the robes that were typically reserved for them around the trunks of trees. These “Ecology monks” saw the deforestation in Thailand, caused by logging activity, and developed this practice in response. By ordaining trees as if they were monks, as if the trees were being initiated into monkhood, the monks were making a statement about the spiritual inherentness of the forests. I wasn’t prepared to hear that one of these monks was stabbed to death. This type of peaceful environmental activism was still seen as a threat.

The fight for indigenous people’s rights to their own land is occurring across the planet. Even in countries where this extreme violence is not taking place, the battle is still going. Just look at Standing Rock in North Dakota, or No Back 40 in Wisconsin. It’s important to be aware of what environmentalism looks like across the world and across cultures. People are risking their lives everyday, armed with nothing but their voices.

Adelana Akindes is a senior majoring in environmental sciences and is the treasurer of PEC.

Driving impaired: Is it worth the risks?



I think everyone can recall a time when they were affected either directly or indirectly by someone driving impaired. As a young child, my cousin lost his life in a car accident. The impaired driver was my uncle. Impaired driving can tear apart families and destroy lives.  According to data from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), “every two minutes a person is injured in a drunk driving related car accident.”

Alcohol, drugs, prescription medications, and sleep deprivation are all causes of impaired driving. The Department of Transportation (DOT) outlines the Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) law on their website. The law is written to cover a variety of intoxicants and even prescription medication are considered a cause of OWI.

Make a plan

There are a lot of resources available to individuals in the community and on campus. First, let us talk about how to get home safely if you are impaired. You should have a designated driver and make arrangements in advance. We all know that sometimes that does not happen.

What can you do then? There are plenty of options. You can call a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or even someone you know. The bottom line is that you should make a plan and not endanger your life or the life of others because of unfortunate circumstances.

There are also a number of establishments that participate in the “SafeRide” program. This program provides free or cheap rides home. They are listed on the Tavern league of Wisconsin’s website, and you can also inquire at the facility you are at. Don’t be afraid to call a friend or family member if you need a way home. They would much rather get that call than get a call saying you were involved in a car accident.

Addressing addiction

Sometimes there are bigger problems than simply getting home safely. People can develop an alcohol or drug addiction. We have resources right here at UW- Parkside to help with this issue. The Student Health & Counseling Center provides professional, licensed counselors who are also Certified Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse counselors for UW-Parkside students. The Student Health & Counseling Center is in the building east of Tallent Hall. For questions or to make an appointment please call 262-595-2366.

There are also programs within the community that provide support groups, counseling, and rehabilitation. You can call National Rehab at 855-335-9114 for assistance in finding local programs. You can also go through any emergency room to get help. There is an Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) District Seven meeting, every third Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. It is held at the Kenosha Alano Club located at 630 56th street in Kenosha. There are many ways to get help. As AA says, “I have found that the process of discovering who I really am begins with knowing who I really don’t want to be.”

A Message from Nature



I have many opinions on the environment.
I wonder why I am here to express an opinion on it.
The truth is, I have a huge passion with the current state of the world,
But it is discouraging to discuss
There are not many outlets available
To express methods of healing
In a time full of pain
How much time is there?
In healing the current condition of planet earth
Identity vs. planet earth
Time vs. planet earth
Will Power vs. planet earth
Netflix and chill vs. planet earth
Mindless indulgences vs. planet earth
Capitalism vs. planet earth
How much time do we have?
When we aren’t distracted…

The world as we know it
Offers so much for us,
And we take it all for granted.
To do this only makes a weight
Which over time causes uncertainty
Which then makes us lost
Which then veers us away
From our path

A path to life
A path to nature
A path to health
To healing
To nurture
To love The Earth cries for this, as we all do.
We are one in the same
We just don’t listen enough

We have many opportunities-
Yet my one choice
Is to be one
With earth,
And her health,
For our health.
We have many opportunities,
We have been rejecting.
Cities are beautiful-
But forests….
A forgotten beauty.

How much time do we have?
All the time in the world
In your world
In our world
Us vs. planet earth

It’s all a choice
To either live in the infrastructure of a decaying world
Or to rebuild a harmony with life itself
We, the people
Radiant beings
Full of life

And who is the source for the radiant beings-
We, the people?
Earth to identity
Earth to consciousness
Earth to psyche
Earth to origins
Earth to roots
Earth to compassion
Earth to gifts
Earth to abundance
The food we have is here
The love we have is here
The earth offers love and food

Kellie Lutz is a senior majoring in communications and is the PR officer of PEC.

Community Connections | Suicide prevention… you are not alone



Suicide does not have a single cause. Substance abuse and untreated depression lead to higher risk of suicide. Having a strong circle and a good support network can help prevent suicide. It is a very complex issue that requires the collaboration of healthcare workers, individuals and their families, treatment services and loved ones.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), suicide is the tenth highest cause of death in the United States for all ages. Approximately 105 people die by suicide daily, and suicide takes the lives of 38,000 Americans a year. The highest rates of suicide among Americans are in Whites, Native Americans, and Alaskan Natives. There is 1 successful suicide for every 25 suicide attempts, and that increases to 1 successful suicide for every 4 attempts in the elderly. The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) states that only half of people experiencing a major depressive episode receive treatment.

Warning signs

According to the Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, there are warning signs to look out for: talking about wanting to die or to kill oneself, about feeling hopeless or having no purpose, feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain or worrying about being  a burden to others. Other things to watch for are increased substance use, withdrawing, extreme mood swings, sleep changes and recklessness. These are all acute signs. If you observe these signs in yourself or someone else, you should seek help. You can call 911 or go to the hospital. You can also call Lifeline (USA) at 800-273-8255 OR Text SIGNS to 741741 for 24/7, anonymous, free crisis counseling. There are many other crisis lines available.

Resources at UW-Parkside

According to the UW-Parkside website, free personal counseling services and referrals are available to all UW-Parkside students. These services are performed by licensed personnel and meet federal guidelines. There is both individual and group counseling available for a wide variety of things.

These services are free and confidential, and this means the information will not and cannot legally be shared without your written permission. You can call to set up a counseling session at (262) 595-2366. If you have an emergency, you may call the UW-Parkside police at (262) 595-2911.

If you or someone you know are feeling suicidal or depressed, please seek help. There is hope. According to the TAPS study, 80-90 % of Americans who seek treatment for their depression can treat it successfully using therapy and/or medication. In the words of Phil Donahue remember that, “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”