Let’s talk about (safe) sex

Many college students recall taking a sexual education course prior to university, but implementing safe sex practices during the college experience is a different story.

To prevent the risks of unprotected sex, Student Health Services put on a safer sex carnival for Minnesota State students in Preska Wednesday night. 

“I feel like in high school and stuff, there is talk about it (sex), but it’s mostly abstinence based,” graduate student Taylor Ferrazzo said. “We tried to kind of incorporate non-abstinence based, safer sex, and then we also still promote abstinence for total security and safety.” 

According to an American College Health Association study, more than 24% of college students reported having two or more sexual partners in the past academic year, and nearly 48% of sexually active students did not use protection during their last intercourse. 

“I feel like with STD’s and STI’s, students don’t particularly think that that’s going to affect them,” Ferrazzo said. “When I was in college, I didn’t really even think twice about that, but it’s something that can happen to anyone.” 

Ferrazzo, who is undergoing a graduate assistantship through MSU Health Pros is in charge of planning and creating events and social media content, among other responsibilities. The team intended for the carnival to be, “educational, but in a fun way.”

“The students are interacting with different material and still getting the education part,” Ferrazzo said. “We have our little booths, and our volunteers educate and spread that information while students are engaging in the activity.” 

The carnival held an array of different games including condom cornhole, a prize wheel, questions and answers and more. From these games students had the opportunity to win different snacks, candy, safe sex kits with condoms and more. The theme as a whole was centered around Valentine’s Day.

“It’s all games and stuff, but there’s still that educational aspect, which we find that students enjoy and definitely learn more from engaging and interacting with different things,” Ferazzo said. 

Attempting to make the space more comfortable, many of the Health Pros volunteers are undergraduate students themselves, “so then students can kind of feel a connection,” Ferrazzo said.

“That’s a lot of what Health Pros do is peer education, so it’s more relatable.”

MSU Student Health Services provides Sexually Transmitted Disease diagnosis and treatment on the lower level of Carkoski. Appointments can be made through the online portal or by phone call. 

As far as becoming a volunteer, Health Services promotes students interested to join them in future educational events to come. 

“Health pros is a great opportunity for students in any major, but specifically those in a healthcare related major,” Ferrazzo said. “You get experience speaking about more uncomfortable topics, so then you feel more comfortable with them, and I just feel like it’s a great opportunity for students to engage in.”

Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at mercedes.kauphusman@mnsu.edu

Header Photo: Minnesota State Student Health Services put on a safer sex carnival with educational games and prizes Tuesday evening. (Dylan Long/The Reporter)

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