On Feb. 11, the Women’s Resource Center and the Office of Residence Life collaborated for yet another year of the annual Sex & Chocolate event, discussing relationships in and out of marriage.
Engstrom Hall lobby had its yearly uncontainable buzz while the scents of milk chocolate filled the air. Arranged on a red and white color-schemed table were strawberries, apple slices, pretzels and marshmallows, all waiting to be dipped into one of the two chocolate fountains by anxious guests.
Students from all different years in school sat across the lobby area facing a couch-made panel of seven individuals. There were three couples and one brave single who passionately spoke about God-fearing singleness.
The panelists included five APU graduates and employees. From left to right, with the exception of the single, the couples’ years of marriage increased. When the panel began, each couple introduced themselves by first telling their current jobs and relationship status.
Some well-known panel members included staffers from APU admissions, Shayna Youngs, a former Trinity Hall community advisor and student, and Melissa Stava, director of Communiversity.
The event was structured like previous years with a 626 phone number for students to send in their questions to an RA and RD in Engstrom. Pie Williams, first-year graduate intern for the Women’s Resource Center, also helped in making this event successful for another year.
“We wanted to make sure on this campus that this is not such a taboo topic,” Williams said. “Just because it’s a Christian campus, these topics still matter.”
Some questions sent in from students dealt with topics of whether masturbation is good or bad, setting boundaries and limits within a relationship, sexual pasts and dealing with heartbreak. For questions on sexual history, Jackson Stava, the assistant athletic director for APU, made it clear that the crucial step within a relationship is honesty.
The event addressed how to move forward from sexual past and regret. To maintain healthy relationships in the future, Stava suggested that students “come clean about [their] sexual history.”
The couple married for 38 years, Debbie and Mike, who are parents of APU graduates, continuously tied together God and the current issues within relationships and sex. Most questions suggested sex outside the context of marriage; however, the couple made it clear what the Bible says about sex.
If dealing with a relationship that is unhealthy, and not glorifying to God, Mike suggested that breaking off the relationship is best.
“Let God restore you,” Mike said.
Sex & Chocolate’s purpose was not to preach and put couples on a pedestal but instead to assure students that regardless of who you are and what you have been through, there is always time to start fresh and start over.
“Our message [for the event] is to be that you are loved no matter what,” Williams said.