Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee (SEAT) strives to foster a comprehensive and academically-informed conversation about sex, sexuality, and relationships with the purpose of educating the University of Tennessee student body and the Knoxville community through innovative, collaborative, and entertaining programming and events.
In Spring 2012, the Issues Committee of the Central Programming Council brought Megan Andelloux, a prominent sexologist, to speak to University of Tennessee students on topics of sexual health and empowerment. After an extremely warm reception, two UT students decided to collaborate to bring Sex Week to the University of Tennessee, making our school one of the first ten universities in the country to host a Sex Week.
The two co-founders felt strongly about bringing this program to the University of Tennessee and the state of Tennessee because of the need for more openness and justice around these issues, in addition to the fact that opportunities to discuss these topics are rare. Appreciating the diversity and unity of the human experience entails understanding the range of sexual and gender identities we hold and express, and how these are shaped by culture, politics, religion, the environment, and even the economy. College is about education and thoughtful discussion, and that includes important topics like sex and sexuality.
SEAT’s First Annual Sex Week in 2013 was successful with 4,000 attendees. We received quite a bit of media attention after losing two-thirds of our funding two and a half weeks before the event. This decision was made by UT administrators in reaction to upset state legislators. SEAT was able to privately fundraise the lost funding in 36 hours with the public’s help and went on to host a very successful event.
Each year, SEAT has built upon this momentum to continue bringing new and innovative programming to the University of Tennessee, consistently to thousands of UT students each year. Despite continued attempts at censuring the programming that SEAT provides, Sex Week continues on at the University of Tennessee and will be celebrating its fifth anniversary April 3-7, 2017.
Advocate for a comprehensive understanding of sex and sexuality and cultivate dialogue on these topics.
Create programming and facilitate discussions that are inclusive of all beliefs and ideas in order to create a safe environment for open dialogue.
Ensuring academic soundness by including all perspectives and crossing traditional boundaries.
Positive reception of others’ sexual expression regardless of personal views and embracement of sexuality as fundamental to the human experience.
Growth and Development
Encourage exposure in an effort to help one’s self and one’s peers enhance awareness, knowledge, and understanding in order to become empowered individuals.
SEAT will strive to remain honest and diligent in our functioning and work.
Awards & Recognitions
“The Comstock Block Award”, presented by the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, April 2014
“Seeds of Change Award” awarded by Community Shares to our co-founders Brianna Rader and Jacob Clark, April 2014
Planned Parenthood 2014 Family Life Educator of the Year Award