Photo and story by Megan Cole / Contributing Writer
MTSU’s Tunnel of Love event was held on Wednesday in the Student Union Ballroom to educate students about sexual health awareness, sexually transmitted diseases and prevention methods.
MTSU’s Health and Human Performance Department was the primary sponsor and organizer of the event.
Community agencies and MTSU organizations gathered in the ballroom to support the initiative and inform students on how to practice safe sex. Students participated in learning how to use different types of contraceptives and the risks of unprotected sex.
The Tennessee Department of Health provided free HIV tests to students and employees. The painless oral swab produced results in 20 minutes.
Amelia Olmstead, an MTSU senior studying child development and family studies, emphasized the importance of the event.
“We’re here for awareness of STDs and safe sex to make sure college students are being safe while participating in the act if they choose to,” Olmstead said.
Director of Health Promotion at MTSU Lisa Schrader explained why she believes it is important for college students to attend the Tunnel of Love.
“Most of our students are coming from a Tennessee high school, which has not historically prepared them in the area of sexual education.” Schrader said. “We know that about half of all STDs diagnosed in the (United States) have been in people who are ages 15-24. Most of our students fall within that age range, and I certainly want them to have all the information they need to be able to protect themselves and not become one of those statistics.”
Alexandra Bozman, a senior studying organizational communications, explained that students are not always educated in a proper manner when it comes to safe sex.
“I think it’s really important for people to know the nooks and crannies of sexual activities, because a lot of people aren’t educated by their parents, unfortunately,” Bozman said. “And, (they’re) poorly educated by their peers.”
MTSU freshman Chloe Wright, who is a nursing major, stated that the event allowed students to ask the hard questions and inform themselves in a safe environment.
“I learned a lot of things that I did not know,” Wright explained. “But, I think the most important thing was that there was no stigma. People were able to just go grab condoms, ask questions and not feel uncomfortable about it.”
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