Letter to the Editor,
We are writing in response to “Instagram Pic of the Week”. The picture was of the condom vending machine found in the Bailey Library, provided by the Protection Connection. The comment below the picture stated “This condom vending machine needs to be in the library because……??” It is provided because we HOPE to meet the wellness needs of our students. The Protection Connection office is organized and run by HOPE Peer Educators. HOPE stands for Healthy Outreach through Peer Education, meaning peers educate students on campus about health and safety.
We have provided the students with condom vending machines throughout the campus in order to give the students easy access to safer sex supplies at a reduced fee. The vending machines can be found in the Health Center, the Women’s Center, the restrooms at Boozel Dining Hall, and yes, in the Bailey Library. The Student Health Advisory Board (SHAB) discussed where one of our vending machines should be placed and concluded that the library would be a good location. The library is a facility that all students have access to and may attend regularly. Our goal as Peer Educators is to make sure students are being safe on campus.
Statistics have shown that the percentage of sexually transmitted infections (STI) has been on the rise on Slippery Rock’s campus. In a recent survey, it was found that 71 percent of the students here at Slippery Rock have reported having a sexual partner within the last 12 months (ACHA-NCHA survey, April 2013, 1,140 students participate). Of the students being tested for STI’s on campus, 12 percent have tested positive for Chlamydia, and 2 percent have tested positive for Gonorrhea. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 19 million new infections occur each year and half of those infections occur in those ages 15-24. By the age of 24, 1 in 3 sexually active people will have contracted an STI.
Providing reduced fee safer sex supplies to SRU students provides them with a choice. Students can choose not to have sex and for students who choose to have sex they have access to the only form of birth control that provides STI protection. Our HOPE is that providing safer sex supplies in a comfortable atmosphere, an easy access location and at a reduced fee for those who choose to have sex, gives them the means to practice safer sex.
The HOPE Peer Educators