Peer Health Educators Prep Students for Valentine's Day

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Amidst the delicious candy grams, beautiful flower grams, and musical talents of the SMC-Men offered around Valentine’s Day, the Peer Health Educators had their own table set up for the “month of love.” While candy was among their offerings, the main idea was to offer free condoms and information with the hopes of helping students make wiser decisions around this amorous time. Sexual Wellness Advocate Meghan Root said, “Historically, the Peer Health Educators have done programming around Valentine’s Day” to assist students in making healthier sexual decisions.

In the days leading up to Cupid’s holiday, the Peer Health educators tabled outside the Great Room during lunch and dinner. They provided information on proper condom use, birth control options, and communication skills. One of the games a passerby could play was STI identification using plushies in the shape of the infection. Another game was a picture matching game with various sexual health related pictures.

At one table, Peer Health Educator and sophomore Ashton Engdahl had a station set up on proper condom use for both males and females. As students stopped by the table on their way to get dinner, Engdahl demonstrated how to apply a female condom using a plastic model. Engdahl’s main concern was to “both destigmatize sex and empower people through information about sexual health.”

She went on to add “that most people hurry past when we table, not even looking at what we’re trying to do.” While the Peer Health Educators try to disseminate information about sex, they make it clear that while they understand not everyone will be sexually active, they would prefer people to be aware of safe sexual practices.

There were many brochures on a multitude of topics, including consent and pregnancy prevention. According to senior and Peer Health Educator Katie Schreven,“The campus is receptive when we offer info and also programming. Hopefully our work helps to destigmatize sex and talk about it. It doesn’t mean we want you guys to go out and have a lot of sex, we just want to give out info.” So while it might be embarrassing to talk about sex, it is important to be informed and make wiser decisions in relation to your sexual health.

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