The student-lead seminar on Wednesday, March 15 sought to address the many various relationships in today’s society – including black love, social media and how it effects relationships today, interracial dating, safe sex and the definition of consent.
“I feel like the event was a success, the students were able to share some insights with each other and some perspectives about a variety of things all kind of relating to love,” Antonio Banks said, Umoja Program Manager.
Banks, who led the seminar, said he was enthusiastic to bring to light topics that are not often discussed in everyday conversation or that are often referred to as taboo.
The point of discussion that attendees seemed most interested in was interracial dating.
Attendees were all in agreement that they are okay when it comes to dating a different ethnicity, but it’s not without its difficulties.
The obstacle of cultural boundaries was addressed since it occurs when couples don’t discuss these ethnic bumps.
“When we are in front of my family who are really Mexican, we can’t show any PDA,” Gustavo Cruz explained, a Fullerton College student.
Cruz went on to say there are “unspoken rules” in Hispanic culture, which when broken are “considered disrespectful towards the parents, but with the American culture it’s completely different.”
The consensus amongst attendees was that in order to make an interracial relationship work there has to be a level of understanding, as well as full communication about how both sides feel and the cultural expectations.
“Being in an interracial relationship has its challenges and getting to actually discuss them and hear what other people had to say was really interesting,” Cruz said.
One of the biggest discussions was on the struggles with family members who may disagree or not fully understand an interracial relationship.
A point made was that it’s more common for families to be accepting today than ten years ago, which is thanks to mass media.
But usually those who oppose interracial dating are a part of the older generation – such as grandparents and even great-grandparents who aren’t as open-minded as the parents of the current generations.
Another area discussed was the impact of social media on relationships, especially for this day and age.
Most of the attendees agreed that the misuse of social media can be both good and bad because people can connect, but through the internet only.
When relying on a social-media connection, we as people lose touch with the real world and lose the ability to gain relationships based off of face-to-face interactions.
A rather controversial topic that most feel uncomfortable talking about is safe sex and what that really means.
Banks informed the students about the negative effects of having unsafe sex and how the dangers are increasing not just across the country, but even more specifically in Orange County.
It was brought up that according to Dr. Christopher Ried, who’s the medical director of STD and HIV for the Orange County Health Care Agency, that “[i]n Orange County, the most recent data shows a 412 percent increase in syphilis cases from 2011 to 2016, a 204 percent increase in gonorrhea, and a 59 percent increase in chlamydia.”
Safe sex should consist of five main points according to the Center for Disease Control: vaccinations, contraceptives, mutual monogamy, reduce number of sexual partners and abstinence.
When discussing consent, attendees whole heartedly agreed that there should always be consent from both sides.
The seminar was full of very enthusiastic attendees that had come ready to delve into the topics of discussion and grasp the material for future use.
“I thought that it was really dope to get a lot of different people from a lot of different cultural backgrounds to have a perspective on something like love. That was really cool to see,” Josh Quinonez said, who works at the Umoja Center and is a current FC student.
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