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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

SHIC reopens after two-year hiatus

SHIC sold out of numerous sexual health and pleasure items during their first day open after a two-year shutdown. Photo by Ohana Sarvotham.

On Monday, Jan. 31, Grinnell’s Sexual Health and Information Center (SHIC) fully reopened and is now ready and able to provide resources related to sexual health for all students. SHIC is currently located in the first-floor lobby of Main Hall and is open Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.  

The administration originally suspended SHIC’s operations because of concerns related to insufficient employee training and supervision. To remedy this concern, Grinnell’s Student Health and Wellness (SHAW) was asked to partner with and advise SHIC because of their focus on sexual health. According to SHIC Administrator Nazma Noray `23, this new partnership with SHAW proved to be the right step for the organization.  

“With SHAW, it’s been really nice, and they’ve been really receptive about helping us get products and finding avenues of getting funding,” said Noray.

Over the pandemic year, leaders of the two organizations discussed what products and services SHIC should have readily available for the student body. Working under the guidance of SHAW has allowed SHIC to provide more services that went unavailable after their initial suspension.  

“We can provide a lot more services especially now that we’re partnered with SHAW,” said SHIC employee Aris Reyes `24.   

SHIC is also once again able to provide the pleasure oriented and gender affirming items that were available in previous years. They remain unable to provide the emergency birth-control medication Plan B to students since their initial shut-down in 2020, but SHAW is working with them to remedy this.  

“SHIC was actually open my first year here, but it was a mysterious place and I never really came in here … but over COVID I’ve gotten a lot more interested in sexual health and wellness and knowing your body and having power in that,” Reyes said. 

SHIC encourages safe and pleasurable sex. Photo by Ohana Sarvotham.

By the end of SHIC’s opening day, their shelves were mostly empty. Dildos and vibrators were among the first to sell out, and most other pleasure and gender-affirming products followed shortly after. Noray said that SHIC’s opening process was smooth, and they have placed a large order to restock their products.  

“The first Monday that we officially opened with products we were basically cleaned out of everything,” said Noray.  

Noray describes SHIC as a workplace full of camaraderie where friendships are bound to be made. Meeting new people and talking about subjects that matter to her are the most appealing aspects of working for SHIC.  

“It’s fun meeting people and talking about things I like to talk about; I’m a big sexual health advocate,” said Noray.  

As a result of the pandemic, many first and second years are not aware of the services that SHIC provides. To address this, Noray is planning on hosting events to increase SHIC’s presence on campus, and spread awareness about their mission to support students’ sexual health. 

“We haven’t done a lot yet, but there is a lot in store!” Reyes said. 

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