How do you promote a chastity talk on a college campus?

Step 1: Arrange with the school to bring in a relationships (ie: chastity) speaker as part of freshman orientation. They often give the new students talks on date rape, drinking, dorm life, etc. So, try to get then to agree that the students need this just as much—or more. This will guarantee a mandatory audience, so you will be able to reach students who would otherwise never come to a chastity talk. Your club advisor may be able to work with the administration to bring in guest speakers or arrange such events.

Step 2. If that’s not an option, host a chastity debate, rather than a one-sided speech. This way, you’ll capture the interest of those who are not favorable to the idea of chastity.

Step 3. If the talk is optional, talk with debate, speech, or religion professors to see if they are willing to offer their students extra credit for attending or writing a response paper on it.

Step 4: Smother the campus with advertisements of the talk. But do not say, “Come to an abstinence talk Thursday night at 7:00!” Nobody thinks they need abstinence because it’s just the absence of sex. People who are abstinent presumably think they’re fine, and those who are sexually active will not give up their free time to hear someone that they imagine will only shame them. So, you need to offer them something they want, not something you’re going to take away from them. To do this, post creative ads. Here are a few poster ideas:

  • Put posters up in the girl’s dorms that say, “Hanging out, hooking up, and hoping for Mr. Right? If you’re ready for a new approach and want to know where the decent guys have gone, come to ___.” Or, put posters on “How to have romance without regret,” “The Pill and the Shot: Find out what Planned Parenthood isn’t telling you,” or “How come he got the benefits and I didn’t even get a friend?”
  • In a guy’s dorm, put posters that say, “What the condom companies don’t want you to know.” Or, come up with other intriguing ways to piqué their interest.
  • Other posters could have a collage of words, like “Friends with benefits?” and “Hooking up?” and other key words that define the current confusion when it comes to dating in college. Then you could have some catch line, like “Looking for a better way to find romance–without regret? Come to __”
  • Other posters could say, “Why have most college students never heard of the most common STD? (Here’s a hint: it takes the lives of 288,000 women each year — and it’s not AIDS). Come find out what the condom companies don’t want you to know?”
  • Another idea is “What’s the best way to end your future marriage before it begins? Come to ___ for details.”
  • Or, try a positive approach: “Can you save your marriage before meeting your spouse? Come to ___ for details.”

Or, pick some of these ideas, add your own, and put it on a flyer, stick it under all the doors in a dorm or frat/sorority house, post it on the bulletin boards, announce it at Mass, etc.