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Impassioned student teaches about social issues, safe sex

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There are few students with as strong a passion for educating others about sex and social issues as Fae Simpson. Simpson is a sophomore accustomed to taking 21 credits a semester. Simpson is a psychology major with a double minor in LGBTQ Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. They work on the Middle Earth Mental Health Hotline, dance on the Dance Council, and intern at Project SHAPE, and the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, and take part in the Women’s and Gender Studies Collective. Just belonging to one of these organizations is time consuming. Belonging to all five takes an amazing amount of dedication and scheduling.   

The Women’s and Gender Studies Collective prepares students to teach Intro to Feminism on campus. According to Simpson, “In the fall [the students in the collective] plan the curriculum and choose what articles go in the course packet, and generally prepare ourselves. In the spring semester we are the instructors.” Having undergrad students teach other undergrads is meant to break down the student-teacher power hierarchy and empower students.

Project SHAPE (Sexual Health and Peer Education) also focuses on the impact of students teaching students. SHAPE educates its member for two semester about safe sexual practices and then those member spread the message across campus via tabling, panels, and interactive events. Simpson is running several events for this years Sexuality Month.

Someday Simpson hopes to put these experiences to use as a sex educator or sex therapist.   Simpson has been a self-identified feminist since middle school. For eight years Simpson has worked as a camp counselor educating children about gender and sexuality issues. This has translated to their work at the Resource Center and SHAPE. Simpson commented, “I really love educating and I think that’s the first step in change.”     

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Katie Gibson is the lifestyle editor for the Albany Student Press. She is also a DJ for WCDB.

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