NAACP and SOAR promote safe sex

Zachary Araki, Staff Reporter

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the University Health Center and Student Outreach and Advocacy Representatives collaborated to educate students about HIV and AIDS with “Stroll Off Against AIDS.”

The event included performances and games on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Center.

Vice President of the University’s NAACP Chapter Allana Lagrange, a junior health systems management major, discussed the importance of raising awareness about HIV and AIDS.

“Everybody should be aware of what their partner has or what their friend is going through,” said Lagrange. “I feel like if everyone is aware of what to look for and to know that if something’s not right, that they should go get checked out. We have a university center here for the students to go if they’re having problems. It’s very important for everyone to keep their bodies safe and keep healthy.”

Peer Educator for SOAR Silent McCarthy, a senior general studies major and NAACP member, explained why NAACP, SOAR and the health center decided to hold “Stroll Off Against AIDS.”

McCarthy said, “HIV and AIDS awareness is one of the targets for NAACP, and then for SOAR, we try to educate students in whatever way we can, so it was a good event for us to collaborate, and national HIV/AIDS awareness day is Dec. 1, so we had the event well in advance so people would know.”

McCarthy felt the event was a success.

“We had a large crowd,” said McCarthy. “The crowd was pretty interactive. They participated in all the games, and I definitely think all the students can walk away learning something.”

For the month of November, the University Health Center offers free STD testing in exchange for items that will be donated to the university Food Pantry. Appointments can be made on the health center website.

“A lot of people don’t know if they have something because they don’t think they can get it,” said Membership Director of the University’s NAACP Chapter Whitney Douzier, a senior kinesiology major and chair for the event. “It’s just statistics, and they’re just a number, but we all have to get checked annually if not twice a year, especially if you’re changing partners or having sex unprotected in general.”