Q: When do I apply to take GenSex?
A: Our application is now online! Enrollment is fairly competitive, and we will be prioritizing applicants who also attend our infosessions. If you are unable to make the infosessions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out our Facebook page or UC Berkeley’s DeCal page to stay updated!
Q: How many GenSex sections are there?
A: We have four sections this year!
Q: I’m not sure about my schedule yet, can I switch sections when I find out?
A: Only mark down sections you are positive you can make. It is highly unlikely, unless the circumstances are extenuating, that you will be able to switch classes once they’ve been decided. If you let us know before we send out class decisions, we can switch your preferred sections on your application.
Q: My best friend/roommate/partner/dog’s uncle and I REALLY want to be in the same class! Can we? We talked about it and are both totally comfortable and can only make one class time.
A: Partners are not placed in the same class as the class contract prohibits hooking up within classes. Additionally, any pre-existing relationship within the class hinders us from maintaining safe space. You will get more out of the class if you don’t know anyone in the class. For example, you might not share something if you know your best friend will know who you’re talking about. Also, others feel excluded when students are already friends on the first day. That being said, we have made exceptions in the past. You should still absolutely apply and the facilitators will make decisions based on what they feel is best for the class as a whole.
Q: What are my chances of getting in?
A: The percentage of accepted applicants changes every semester based on a variety of factors. We do our absolute best to accept as many students as possible. We’ve had semesters where we only denied a handful of applicants and semesters where we denied close to 50%. It all depends on how many people apply and how many spots we have.
Q: When will I find out and how?
A: We will notify you by email letting you know if you were accepted or if we were unable to accommodate you this semester on Sunday night before classes start. Sometimes this email comes very late so don’t worry if you haven’t heard right away.
Q: When do classes begin?
A: Classes for the spring session begin in early February, with informational sessions held in January. The fall session begins in early September, with informational sessions held in August.
Q: Is there a waitlist? If I drop the class will someone else get my spot?
A: There is no waitlist as it is imperative that students attend every class from day one. If you drop the class, no one will replace your seat. If you think you are likely to drop the class, you may want to consider applying during a semester when you are sure you can take it. We want as many people to be able to take the class as possible before leaving Cal!
Q: Will I feel left out or be unable to participate if I haven’t had any/enough sexual experiences?
A: Absolutely not! Not having sex is just as much of an experience as having sex. FemSex is sex-positive, meaning we support your decision to engage or not engage in sex, however you define it. Many of our conversations will focus on deconstructing the expectations and myths surrounding sexuality and sexual experiences.
Q: I’m not 21. Should I wait until I’m 21 to take the class? Will I be able to go to any events?
A: All of our events are for people of all ages. Many of our facilitators aren’t 21!
Q: I’m shy. Will I be forced to share details about my life or sex life? Will I be failed if I don’t talk a lot or feel comfortable with certain assignments?
A: Every person in the class always reserves the right to pass. We will never force you to answer anything and all assignments have alternative options if you are uncomfortable. You will not fail for being quiet! Additionally, you can always talk to your facilitators about ways we can help you feel comfortable.
Q: Are cis men, trans, and gender nonconforming folks allowed to take GenSex?
A: Yes! We cover sexual and reproductive health for folks of all identities. We’ve changed our name and rewritten all of our curriculum to better reflect the demographics of our classes.
Q: Is there homework in GenSex? How much? What if I’m not taking the course for college credit, do I still have to do the homework assignments?
A: Yes. There are different homework assignments as well as weekly journals for the course. We also require students to attend three outside events either hosted by GenSex or another organization and write short write-ups on each that are to be turned in by the last day of class. There are two mandatory assignments which serve as your midterm and final. You may choose to write a paper instead of presenting a project. The midterm, final, journals, event write-ups and homework assignments are short and should not take up too much of your outside class time. We try to assign all assignments at least one week in advance so that you all are aware of what they are. Note that facilitators also are required to do all homework assignments.
Q: I will have to come 10 minutes late to class on the third Thursday of every month. That’s cool, right?
A: No. You are required to come on time to every class. You should not list sections that you cannot commit to. Lateness is very disruptive to class time. With that being said, we do start all classes on “Berkeley time.”
Q: What if I can’t attend all of the classes?
A: We have a strict attendance policy that is outlined during infosessions. However, we make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Wait, so how many classes can I miss?
A: Students are allowed to have a total of 2 unexcused absences. Absences due to religious holidays or University-excused absences–such as theater or sports–will be excused. Please check the UC Berkeley attendance policy here.
General Class Logistics
Q: Will I have to buy books for the class? How much does will they cost?
A: We have a free recommended course reader available online.
Q: Do I have to take GenSex for units? Can I take it for 1 or 2 units instead of 3?
A: You do not have to take GenSex for units, but you will still be held accountable to the class contract and be expected to participate in the same capacity as enrolled students. You cannot take the class for 1 or 2 units, only 3 units or 0 units. You will receive CCNs within the first two weeks of class if you are accepted into the program.
Q: How big are the classes?
A: Classes range from 10-24 students.
Q: What is the cost to participate?
A: GenSex is FREE but if you would like to donate to keep our program going, click here!
Q: Who keeps this program going?
A: We have a committed team of 8-10 facilitators and 4-6 admin. We also work very closely with Cici and the Gender Equity Resource Center as well as our faculty sponsor.