Pramana

Aro/Ace Campus Experiences?

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Pramana

With a new school year underway, I thought it'd be beneficial to start a thread to discuss aro/ace experiences on campus. I've listed a few issues that came to my mind, but feel free to discuss anything else you deem relevant. Note that I've written this directed towards current students, but by all means chime in if you've attended college in the past, work at a college, have friends on campus, or otherwise have thoughts on the matter.

1. Meeting other aros and aces on campus. I've seen a number of recent American/Canadian college campus sexual orientation surveys that show 5-6% of respondents self-identifying as asexual spectrum. Is this reflected in the ease of meeting other aros and aces on campus?
2. Aro/ace representation in student services/clubs. Does your school have a standalone aro/ace group, or at least provide aro/ace representation within a broader LGBTQ+ group?
3. Sexualized campus culture. I image this varies by school, but at least in my experience some liberal universities feature a strikingly (perhaps overbearingly) sex-positive climate. And then there are the practicalities of reaching a workable arrangement with sexually active roommates (including both partnered and solo sexual activity).
4. Role of online asexual communities. Do the demands of school entail that you have less time to participate on asexuality forum sites and discord chat servers, or does the temptation of procrastination entail that you actually spend more time online during the school year?

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Falafelphy

1. Meeting other aros and aces on campus. I've seen a number of recent American/Canadian college campus sexual orientation surveys that show 5-6% of respondents self-identifying as asexual spectrum. Is this reflected in the ease of meeting other aros and aces on campus?

I go to a very small college, and I've met other aces, but so far no one else who is open about being aro.
2. Aro/ace representation in student services/clubs. Does your school have a standalone aro/ace group, or at least provide aro/ace representation within a broader LGBTQ+ group?

We don't have an aro/ace group, but our Pride club is super accepting (and also super small, which is why we don't have an aro/ace group), and we will discuss topics at our meetings, which sometimes have to do with asexuality and the split attraction model. I'm also an officer of the club, as an aro ace myself.
3. Sexualized campus culture. I image this varies by school, but at least in my experience some liberal universities feature a strikingly (perhaps overbearingly) sex-positive climate. And then there are the practicalities of reaching a workable arrangement with sexually active roommates (including both partnered and solo sexual activity).

I do go to a very liberal school. Still, the main thing people talk about is consent. Sometimes we have events that will give out free condoms and the like, but this has never been a huge deal for me. Honestly the biggest issue is the mandatory consent/bystander training (it takes about an hour to complete, if you skip over as much as you can, and you have to finish it before signing up for classes or housing), which could be an issue if I was more sex repulsed. As for roommates, generally a good rule is getting advance notice if they're having someone over, that way you can make plans to have a sleepover with a friend if necessary. Otherwise they have to understand you have the right to not let them invite people (i.e. boyfriends/hookups) over.
4. Role of online asexual communities. Do the demands of school entail that you have less time to participate on asexuality forum sites and discord chat servers, or does the temptation of procrastination entail that you actually spend more time online during the school year?

I don't spend a lot of time online during the school year. I'm not really much of a procrastinator, and once my workload picks up I usually pretty much vanish from the internet.

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Rosendust

1)In my expierence at my college, I have met many open people, but not aces like me. My campus doesn't even have a GSA, if you want the truth.

2)Not Applicable for my college

3)I go to a very conservative school, we aren't like the bigger university which is one of the more recognized campuses in my area. My campus is more of a community campus, so we don't have much need for housing-unfortunately,

4)Regardless of how many courses I'm taking in a given semester, I always allow myself a day(or a few days, depending on my mental health) to decompress.

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Roidgy

I didnt go to college for long bc of Disability but in my short experience......

 

1. Haha! Nope! Everyone i met was super queerphobic so i doubt kids would feel safe coming out as ANYthing

2. Dont think there is a club for that in our campus.....

3. Our campus seemed really devoid of sexuality, and I never had to deal with roommates.

4. When I was in school, i would go online very little because i would be too busy stressing out about school. 

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XIII

1) In the four years I've been here, I have never met another aro/ace. There may be some people here who are and don't realize it, but I'm not sure.

2) My school has a Pride club, but I don't know if aros/aces are welcome and how they would be received if they tried to join. 

3) The dorms on my campus are open about sex, going as far to have condoms in the lobby by the help desk and having resident programs about safe sex (including when it's consensual or not). They also encourage roommates to workout a plan when they want alone time with their partner. My roommate wanted her boyfriend to stay in the room at night, which would've included sex, but I said no because I had no where to go. 

4) I have to go online for school all the time and I go on ace sites when I can.

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Galactic Turtle
13 hours ago, Pramana said:

1. Meeting other aros and aces on campus. I've seen a number of recent American/Canadian college campus sexual orientation surveys that show 5-6% of respondents self-identifying as asexual spectrum. Is this reflected in the ease of meeting other aros and aces on campus?

I didn't know about these orientations while I was in college so naturally I never asked about it. My friend group in general never had sex as a topic of conversation. I can count on one hand the number of times I've discussed sex with my friends.

 

13 hours ago, Pramana said:

2. Aro/ace representation in student services/clubs. Does your school have a standalone aro/ace group, or at least provide aro/ace representation within a broader LGBTQ+ group?

I don't think we did. Granted in college I never thought about those student organizations but more like.... sci-fi, fiction writing, and sports clubs.

 

13 hours ago, Pramana said:

3. Sexualized campus culture. I image this varies by school, but at least in my experience some liberal universities feature a strikingly (perhaps overbearingly) sex-positive climate. And then there are the practicalities of reaching a workable arrangement with sexually active roommates (including both partnered and solo sexual activity).

On my first day I got a bag of condoms that I thought were wet wipes and lube that I didn't know was lube until my roommate kindly informed me. I thought it was funny that the RA's just assumed everyone was sexually active. Of course at the time I didn't know that people at that age had sex for fun. Luckily at my school before you get there you fill out a form and I filled out mine to communicate that I had a very conservative lifestyle. For this reason I had no issue with sexually active roommates because if they were I never knew about it. It never came back to the dorm. I don't think they masturbated either. At the same time these are things I never thought about at that age so I wouldn't have been watching out for it.

 

13 hours ago, Pramana said:

4. Role of online asexual communities. Do the demands of school entail that you have less time to participate on asexuality forum sites and discord chat servers, or does the temptation of procrastination entail that you actually spend more time online during the school year?

I didn't know about asexuality until my last couple months of college and didn't involve myself in any online communities until a few months after I graduated.

 

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StrangeDruid

Student here. Close to finishing my degree. I've been involved in LGBTQ groups, but consider myself a closeted ace.

 

1. My college has an official ace/aro group. I went to one meeting, and there were probably around ten or so of us altogether. Not sure if the group is defunct now, because clubs and groups tend not to last long where I'm from. I've never met other aces at other events or in-class, but I've had a few friends tell me that one or two of their acquaintances is ace/aro. Apparently I just never seem to cross paths with other asexual people?

2. See above answer. I was a part of a general LGBTQ group, but I never openly identified myself as ace. No one else seemed to be ace either. We did have an ace flag in one of our hang-out spots though, which was nice.

3. I've found it depends which department you're in. Business students, for example, seem very sexual where I'm from. In general science and social sciences - not so much. I would personally consider it a very "stuffy" and overly academic atmosphere. People tend to be "neat in the streets, but insane in the sheets", or that's my impression anyways.

4. I've found my university to be very time-demanding, but not so much where I can't involve myself online. Actually, my grades would probably be better if I spent LESS time online haha.

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Pramana

I noticed that University of Toronto (Canada's largest university with 90,000 students) has a group that used to be called Asexual Outreach U of T, and which is now called U of T Aces and Aros. It is interesting both that they have a group and that they changed names presumably to be more aromantic inclusive.

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Tessa_mh

Hi folks! I'm the coordinator of a Campus Pride organization in Canada and I'm interested in ways to make our space more open and friendly for asexual/aromantic folks. We have some random books about asexuality, but they're really geared more towards sexual folks wanting to learn about asexuality. I've noticed more students reaching out to me as of late wondering about resources, buttons/pins (we have a ton of buttons and pins for different causes or with fun LGBTQ+ references on them, but none dealing with Asexuality) and workshops or social events specifically geared towards asexuality. Essentially, I'm looking for input. Does anyone have any thoughts as to how to make the space more comfortable for asexual folks?

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