Wrap It Up For Valentine’s Day
Andy Davis

condoms-2-color-sfeld.jpgAnistie Held and Julie Marten, Reproductive Peer Educators in Delzell Hall, have organized a Condom Club—sponsored by Student Health Services—that sup­plies interested students with con­doms and advice on sexual safety.

Since Feb. 5, information about the Condom Club has been appearing in the student edition of the Campus Announcements. The announce­ments advertise a punch card that students can buy for $5. The cards are worth five punches, and each punch is worth five condoms, meaning that for $5 a student will receive 25 con­doms.

Held and Marten were inspired to start this organization after visit­ing the American College of Health Association Convention in Chicago last year. Students, doctors, and lab technicians attended the conference and offered insights and suggestions for reproductive resources and their presence on college campuses.

“I saw other schools were doing this. I think we need to promote con­dom awareness here, too,” Held said. “It’s definitely about caring about yourself and the people you’re hav­ing interactions with.”

The Women’s Resource Center has offered condoms to students for free for years, which leaves a lot of members and students wondering why students would pay for a punch card.

“As a student, I know I can get condoms for free, so why would I pay,” Stephanie Roland, a student that visited the Women’s Resource Center table in the Dreyfus University Center, said, gesturing to the jars of condoms on the table.

“It’s good that they are support­ing safe sex, I just don’t think stu­dents should have to pay for con­doms,” Women’s Resource Center member Jeanna Mielcarek said. “We have boxes of condoms and there’s always the opportunity to get more.”

The University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point allocates grant money to the WRC for condom purchase, whereas the Condom Club uses the money paid for punch cards to fund their condom purchase.

“I think we’re both good resourc­es,” Marten said. “But the condom club is more medically based.”

Despite the opposing views about paying for condoms, the WRC and the Condom Club are working together to promote STD/STI Week, which will take place from April 1 to 5.

The focus of that week will be to point out the difference between STDs (which are chronic) and STIs (which are curable). STD and STI screenings will be held at Delzell, and will be free for students.

“It’s completely discreet. They can just come in to the clinic, pee in a cup, leave and wait for their results,” Held said. “We’re also trying to orga­nize different hall programs, too. We hope to collaborate eventually with the Women’s Resource Center more in the future.”

Marten said that she is hopeful students will turn out to join the club on Valentine’s Day.

“I think students like the sound of a club, and I’m hoping our slogan ‘No Glove, No Love’ will catch on and promote awareness about sexual protection,” Marten said.

According to Marten, the Condom Club has had 30 students join within this first week. The Condom Club and Reproductive Peer Educators offices are located on the first floor of Delzell Hall. Marten said that there are many signs pointing to the Condom Club office.

The WRC will be organizing condom gift bags and distributing the around the downtown bar area tonight for Valentine’s Day.