Chocolate, candy, flowers, ‘Be Mine’ and ‘I Love You’ teddy bears and sexually transmitted diseases.
That’s right—sexually transmitted diseases.
Valentine’s Day is the day people will show their love in more ways than one, which can get a little careless as the Campus Activities Board and Wellness Education & Prevention Office knew when they partnered up to host their third annual “Day of Love” in the University Center on Friday, Feb. 15.
“Our main idea was to not really bring Valentine’s Day, but bring the love to campus,” campus activities board member, Haley Wise said.
“We want to teach people to have safe sex and to take care of themselves too so they can stay healthy.”
Pleasantly, there was a great turnout as students came in handfuls to partake in the love and festivities.
Continuous rounds of bingo were held in the café area of the University Center with condoms acting as bingo markers.
“BINGO!” yelled a few students in hopes to win one of the many ‘interesting’ and exciting prizes, an Amazon Echo, a small flat screen TV, and some erotic toys were up for grabs.
“I think this is really great and creative,” said senior Alexis Trujillo. “We need more sex toys though,” she laughed.
One of the lucky winners of the night was freshman Zach Gehris, who was able to snatch an LG 22-inch flat screen TV.
Excitement erupted from his table for Gehris’ victory, “It feels great to win and visit the Gender and Sexuality Center!” he said after claiming his prize.
The goal of the night was not only to have a fun and successful event but to really stress the importance of safety.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are about 20 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States, and about half of those cases are people ages of 15 and 24.
The event had tables set up that provided information about different diseases, where to go to get tested for free and a code students could scan to get the link directly to their smartphones.
The message of the night was hard to miss as even the treats, sugar cookies with pink and red frosting promoted STD awareness with ‘Love Yourself’ and ‘Get Tested’ written on them.
A table was also designated for information on sexual abuse.
RAINN, or ‘Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network’ states that 11.2 percent of all students experience rape or sexual assault.
Students were encouraged to sign their names and pledge to help fight against sexual abuse.
Although the event revolved around serious matters, the Campus Activities Board and Wellness Education and Prevention Office’s creative efforts did more than raise awareness. They brought people together.
“This event was a really great way to meet and make new friends,” said freshman Caitlin Barker.
Be on the lookout for more information on the Campus Activities Board’s upcoming events which will be on WarriorLink and posted around campus.