The HOPE Peer Educators held their second annual Condom Fashion Show on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Smith Student Center ballroom.
HOPE stands for Healthy Outreach through Peer Education, and the HOPE Peer Educators teach students about health topics, senior recreational therapy major and HOPE Peer Educator Karlie Gaydos said.
The idea for the condom fashion show came from another school at a conference, Gaydos said.
For the fashion show, students make up teams, which vary from two to six people, with one model who walks the runway to the song of their choice. The teams are also given several hundred colored condoms and other supplies to create their designs for the show, sophomore public health major and HOPE Peer Educator Amy Kayser said.
During the event, the contestants showcase their designs and are then asked three health trivia questions. Between contestants, the crowd was also asked trivia questions. At intermission, people in the crowd were invited to participate in condom races. The winner of the fashion show received a trophy and a gift card.
The HOPE Peers aim to have bigger events on campus, such as the Condom Fashion Show, so students, particularly freshmen, can become familiar with HOPE and be aware of what is available on campus, Gaydos said.
“This is the second year we are doing the Condom Fashion Show,” Gaydos said. “Last year, we had a really good turnout, and we are hoping this year’s event will be even better.”
Kayser said six teams competed in this year’s show, represented by various campus organizations such as Greek Life, Black Action Society and residence hall students.
Sophomore safety management major Matt Rickard, the winning model from last year’s show, said he initially became involved as a model for the fun of it.
“It’s a goofy event at its heart and it seemed like a fun time,” Rickard said. “I know the entire group from Rhoads [Hall] is stoked about the event, and we wish the other groups the best of luck!”
Rickard, who was the only male model, and his team from Rhoads Hall “The Rubber Bandits” came in second place this year. The winning team “The Latex Ladies” was a group from the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority.
Kenzie Wagner is a freshman secondary education major and the model for “The Latex Ladies” team.
“We participated in the event because we thought it would be a fun sister bonding activity for us to do within the sorority,” Wagner said.
Julia Rismiller is a freshman art education major and is credited with creating the winning design.
Rismiller said the outfit started as a skirt that was made to look more couture, and that it was really a shirt that they cut to make the outfit.
The event was emceed by junior wellness education major Ana Soeder and sophomore exercise science major Francesca Shreck.
“We volunteered to emcee for the event, and that’s how we got up here,” Soeder said.
Within HOPE, anyone can volunteer to run or participate in an event, Gaydos said.
There are many events on campus that HOPE is associated with, like the Vagina Monologues, the Safer Sex Olympics, the Alcohol -Free Mix Off and Spring Fling which is coming up on April 20, Gaydos said.
To try to get HOPE’s name across to students, Peer Educators from HOPE go into classes, like FYRST seminars, and talk with students about different health topics, Gaydos said. HOPE also hosts Jeopardy games and condom bingo with Community Assistants on campus.
HOPE sells condoms in gumball machines across campus, such as in the bathrooms at Boozel Dining Hall. Condoms can also be purchased for $.25 at Protection Connection in the Health Center. Other items, such as lubricant and female condoms, are also sold at Protection Connection.
“Lets give it up one last time for our contestants! They put a lot of work into this! Do you know how hard it is to sew lubricated condoms?” Soeder said at the end of the night.
To keep up with HOPE events on campus, follow them on Twitter and Instagram @SRUPeers.