Sex & Excess: One woman’s journey to raise awareness

Kylee Whitehill Reporter

Elaine Pasqua’s journey to enlightening students about sexual health and the party scene started in an unfortunate way. when she watched her mother and father pass away from the AIDs virus after caring for them. Pasqua shared her input and experiences to SDSU students Sept. 8.

Pasqua delivered a presentation that asked students to think twice before involving themselves in high-risk behavior. She made a point to say she was not telling students to not drink or have sex, but to be careful with their decisions. Pasqua shared stories about personal friends and people who had reached out to her to make her point clearer and more personal.

“The reason that I continue to do this for more than 18 years is that I have a passion for making a difference in the lives of young people,” Pasqua said. “I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from it especially when students reach out to me after my programs for advice and for help. There is nothing more gratifying then having the opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life.”

Pasqua remained full of energy, bringing her message in a blunt, honest manner that had the audience laughing and understanding her message. She engaged the audience with several exercises and asked for a raise-of-hands on certain situations; she encouraged honesty despite how sensitive the subjects may have been to some of the members of the audience.

“When I came, I didn’t think it was going to be relevant to me. But I was surprised that I actually learned a lot from it,” Keahna Fenwick, a senior sociology major, said.

Pasqua included topics relevant to college students: keeping students and friends safe while drinking, encouragement to seek medical help for someone with alcohol poisoning, confronting a possible sexual predator, engaging in safe sexual action and self-confidence and creating self-respect.

While discussing sex, Pasqua was thorough in explaining what consent truly meant, whether it be verbal or physical, past or in the moment. Having safe sex meant looking past the more notable effect of unsafe sex—pregnancy—and delving into how easy it could be to contract an STI. Regardless of what she talked about, Pasqua always brought self-respect back to the topic. She stressed that life is more enjoyable if people love themselves and explained people did not have to have alcohol to have fun.

“I believe the college students,” Pasqua said. “ … engage in high-risk behaviors because they do not feel connected to their community, they lack self-esteem, and they lack the self-confidence to do something different than the other students around them.”