Let's talk about it

About

SEAT's Mission

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.

Invitation

Hi Students, Faculty, and Staff of UTK!

We're the co-founders and co-chairs of SEAT (Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee) and Sex Week. SEAT is the student organization that will organize and present Sex Week each year at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

We believe in a comprehensive, sex-positive understanding of sexuality that promotes sexual health, pleasure, and empowerment. The dialogue we hope to cultivate will be LGBTQ-friendly, relevant to a wide array of audiences, medically accurate, held in a safe-space, and enlightening. The event does not presume everyone is having sex, so Sex Week will include programming for people who are not sexually active. SEAT will address issues of gender, sex, sexuality, and all the aspects of our lives that are affected by these issues, including culture, politics, religion, and even the economy. SEAT will be sensitive to sexual discourse within larger issues. Sex has historically been a site of oppression; therefore, discussion about sex and sexuality are important because they involve ideas not only about our personal physical and emotional lives but also the sociocultural context in which we're immersed.

History

The first Sex Week was held at Yale University in 2002, and Harvard, Brown, and other prestigious universities quickly adopted the tradition. Ten years later, the Issues Committee of the Central Programming Council brought Megan Andelloux, a prominent sexologist, to speak to Tennessee students on topics of sexuality. After an extremely warm reception, two UT students decided to collaborate to expand and 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.

Core Values