By ASHLEY CASS
As Valentine’s Day suggests, February is the month of love. But the Texas State College Democrats wanted to be more specific.
Amanda Domaschk, President of the Texas State College Democrats, spearheaded a “Safer Sex is Sexy” campaign and petition drive for better sexual health information in public schools throughout the month.
Under the College Democrats, Domaschk is working with Advocates for Youth to support different House and Senate bills for more accurate sexual health information in schools and public schools.
The informational booth, which has been set up every Wednesday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. in front the of the LBJ Student Center, serves two separate causes, one falling under the College Democrats and another that Domaschk put together herself.
“I’ve got two things going here and it’s mandatory that they’re separate,” Domaschk said. “On the one side, we have the petition signing under College Democrats, and, on the other side, we’re passing out free condoms and information on STIs and testing available at the Health Center.
“I applied for a grant from Advocates for Youth online for 500 condoms to promote sexual health on campus and upon receiving them I decided to make it a bigger program by including the ADRC (Alcohol Drug and Research Center) and the campus health center, which in turn have provided health educators to sit at the tables and answer any sexual health related questions,” Domaschk continued.
In its first year of existence, the “Safer Sex is Sexy” campaign, has seen a wide range of success in the number of students who have approached table to sign the petition, pick up condoms, informational brochures or just promotional buttons. While the campaign did not see any protesters, Domaschk said a few students came up to her and told her to read The Bible.
Texas State student Lindsey Adams, who signed the petition and picked up a “Safer Sex is Sexy,” button, thought the concept of the event was helpful and insightful.
“I think it’s a great idea to promote sexual health and the importance of being safe,” she said. “After reading some of the STD stats on the table, it further persuades me to use protection.”
According to the Texas Department of Health Services, Texas had the fifth-highest teen pregnancy rate and the highest teen birth rate in the U.S., with 62 births per 1,000 female teens ages 15 to 19 in 2007. In addition, Advocates for Youth have found that abstain-only sex education has a dismal track record of success. Such programs “show some negative impacts on youth’s willingness to use contraception, including condoms, to prevent negative sexual health outcomes related to sexual intercourse” according to an Advocates for Youth study.
In correlation with the observance of National Condom Week, an annual campaign to encourage sexually active people to use condoms to prevent the transmission of HIV and other STDs in Texas, Domaschk passed legislation to make February “Sexual Health Awareness Month.
“I would like to do this every year in February because people connect this month with hearts and love and it’s an easy association,” said Domaschk.Email | Print