Health Services spoke to SGA about their plan to install “prevention stations” against Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) and Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Two people from the APSU health services, holistic health practitioner and student Ariel Smith and Family Nurse Practitioner Jill Degraauw, discussed the health service’s intention to install “prevention stations” in certain areas on campus.
These prevention stations are intended to be a response to the rising number of STIs and STDs seen on campus by health services and will provide condoms for both men and women, as well as tampons to aide female hygiene.
“We’ve been trending about 40 cases of chlamydia and about five to six cases of gonorrhea from Jan. 1, 2018 to Jan. 1, 2019,” Degraauw said. “From Jan. 1, 2019 to Jan. 1, 2020 we had 29 cases of chlamydia and six cases of gonorrhea. It’s trending about the same this year. It’s not going down.”
Montgomery County ranks number one in the state of Tennessee for newly diagnosed STIs. There are 871 per 100,000 cases in Montgomery County versus 477.5 cases per 100,000 in the state.
One of the aspects that makes these statistics a reality for Montgomery County is the fact that it contains both a college campus and a military institution, both potential hotspots for STIs and STDs, considering relatively the ages of the occupants and close living quarters.
“We plan to have a social media campaign to introduce the program and have a countdown to the kickoff,” Degraauw said. “The kickoff will be near the end of this semester and will reveal all of the locations and introduce the program to the campus.”
It is hoped that the APSU campus will experience a decrease in the rate of STIs and STDs that correlate with the University of Louisville’s results after it implemented a “Play Safe Hot Spots” campaign, which included condoms and sex education materials.
Along with the condoms and tampons, it is intended that the prevention stations will also contain informational and educational material that covers such topics as STDs, safer sex and healthy relationships, as well as lubrication and feminine wipes.
Covering the EC Reports, one hot topic has come up, presented by SGA president Sydney Hawkins, about ‘Guns on Campus.’
Recently, the Tennessee General Assembly has considered a piece of legislation authored by Republican senator Rush Bricken of District 47 and has become a house bill by Republican senator Janice Bowling of District 16 that allows students who are handgun carry permit holders to enter public schools of higher education armed providing they keep their firearms concealed and are in compliance with state law in regards to their ability to carry such firearms.
As of yet, the bill has not been passed but if it does become so, it is planned that it shall take effect on July 1, 2020.
A predominant amount of the senate body expressed deep concern of this bill creating the potential for a student to possibly take advantage of this new law, conceivably using it to enact violence if the student was not to have a stable mindset.
A few others believed that the legislation is basically sound, regarding to the viewpoint that a student should have the right to defend themselves if it must come to that.
Three new pieces of legislation were introduced to the SGA body, all of which were authored by senator Brandon Brown.
The first to be introduced was Act Nine, a statute that states that all members of the tribunal justice of SGA to complete a minimum of five hours of community service for organizations outside of APSU.
Senator Brown’s Act 10 piece of legislation is also similar to Act Nine, which requires members of the senate body to complete a minimum of five hours of community service.
These community service hours are to be individualistic pursuits and not meant for the whole student government body to perform these hours simultaneously.
“I want it to be an individual community service,” Brown said. “I want one to go out to United Way and read to elementary school kids and another to serve soup at Manna Café as senators so that way our names are out there.”
The final piece of legislation known as Resolution 12 is meant to enact a yearly donation of $1,000 to the Save Our Students (SOS) food pantry. This is to help students who are having a hard time purchasing food due to the already steep costs of other collegiate materials and necessities.
Act Nine and Act 10 were tabled.
It was voted that Resolution 12 would go into effect at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.