By Emily Guzman
Two weeks ago, more than 250 students participated in a sexual health survey that was generated by students from Professor Adriana Garriga-Lopez’s Medicine and Society class, according to junior Ashley Arnoldi.
“The survey was our attempt to gauge sexual health awareness on campus and to use this information for a more focused sexual health campaign,” said Arnoldi.
Professor Garriga-Lopez asked students to develop research or service projects that they thought would be interesting, which is where the survey originated.
The students set up a station each night at Frelon where people could fill out hard copies of the survey and place it in an enclosed box. According to Arnoldi, 195 people filled out the online survey advertised through Facebook, while another 60 people filled out hard copies in person.
Arnoldi said that the survey results will help her classmates inform students about overall sexual health on campus. They want to spread the word about safe sex practices and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing, as well as the resources available at the Health Center in Hicks.
“We understand that a survey about sex is not the most comfortable thing for some people, even in complete confidentiality,” said Arnoldi, who hoped to receive more feedback than she did.
“I think that in the past year, students on campus have tried to discuss [sexual health] more and have tried to create a dialogue about it, which I think is really healthy. I feel like people are really open about it,” said first-year student Claire Diekman, who took the survey when her senior friend Haley Decker asked.
Professor Garriga-Lopez’s Medicine and Society class also incorporates a newly-added service-learning component. The class is partnering with a community-based organization called Community AIDS Resource and Education Services. CARES provides testing and health education to more than 3,000 people annually who are at high risk of HIV infection, according to their website.