By Samantha Abram, Special to the Chronicle
Kelley Howard and Marleine Marcelin, students at Hofstra University and co-chairs for the campus organization Collegiate Women of Color, delivered an information session last Thursday about their new subcommittee on sexual health and disease prevention.
The committee's main objective is stop the spread of STD's on campus and get everyone thinking safe. "Unzip the naked truth about unprotected sex," reads its slogan.
Their goal is to foster sexual awareness on Hofstra's campus as well as within the Hempstead community. Anyone on campus is able to be a part of the subcommittee, including students and faculty. Interested members will be trained, in a two-week session, in STD awareness and birth control opportunities, so they will each be able to provide a safe space for those in need.
"According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sexually active adolescents ages 19 to 24 have the highest risk of contracting an STD," said Marcelin.
After being trained, students from the committee will be on campus for anyone who needs help. The committee members take confidentiality very seriously. They strive to help every person who comes to them with proper care and personalized support.
"If someone comes to us with symptoms they are worried about, we tell them to relax and stay calm," said Howard. "Believe it or not, it provides comfort to hear those words."
Committee members are provided with condoms and other types of contraception to distribute on the Hofstra campus. Hofstra students are invited to approach members on campus and seek help or contraception free of charge. Pamphlets and information packets will also be given out upon request.
"I think this committee is not only a great measure on awareness, but also in safety," said Sophia Strawser, a student not part of the committee. "Having knowledge on the matter is the first step to making a change."
"The new committee is a great idea if it's executed properly throughout campus," said Gaby Chiha, a sophomore at Hofstra. "The only potential drawback is making students think that the committee is an outreach only to ‘colored students,' since it's in the title."
The committee will hold up to three events every semester concerning STDs, their prevention, and forms of birth control. The events will be held on campus, open to anyone interested. They will provide information to keep students safe, and get more students involved.