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January 25, 2002

UW-RF to Host Follow-Up Conference on Student Sex

Sex on the college campus will be the theme of an all-day conference scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21, at Rodli Commons on the campus of UW-River Falls. The conference, titled "The Intersection of Love and Violence: Sex and the American College Student Part II," follows last year's conference, "Sex and the American College Student."

About 200 people, mostly faculty members, student development staff, counselors, health care providers and students from 20 Twin Cities region colleges and universities are expected to attend.

According to UW-RF Dean of Students Roger Ballou, this year's conference will narrow the focus on sex and the college student to investigate how students can build healthy relationships and avoid the pitfalls of unhealthy ones. A particular concern will be violence in college relationships.

Said Ballou, "The objectives are to learn how to recognize the characteristics and signals in college-age relationships that can lead to violence, how to educate students to understand these road signs and what they can do in response, and how to perpetuate good health and compatibility in the relationships they form."

Four experts in the field will give presentations followed by question and answer sessions, and then share their reactions to each others' remarks.

Keynote speaker Fred Hebert, associate dean and professor, School of Health, Exercise Science and Athletics at UW-Stevens Point, will set the tone for the day with opening remarks that will include a discussion of the various forms violence can take.

Shuji Asai, who works in family and social services at the University of Minnesota, will look at various dimensions and characteristics of relationship violence in terms of research he has conducted.

Sheri Atkinson, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender services coordinator at St. Cloud State University, will focus on alternative lifestyles; how violence is perpetuated and how it is ultimately prevented.

Brier Miller, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Minneapolis, will define the dimensions and characteristics of a good, healthy, productive relationship, and how these qualities can be fostered among young adults.

The conference will begin at 7:45 a.m and will adjourn at 3:15 p.m. The cost to attend is $35 per person, which includes breakfast, lunch, refreshments during breaks and conference materials. To register or to obtain more information, call Keven Syverson, 715/425-3755, or e-mail

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