MSU on top of safe sex for Condom Awareness Month
National Condom Month is wrapping up at MSU, giving campuses across the nation the opportunity to raise awareness and promote the use of condoms among students.
According to the Michigan State University Student Health Assessment: Spring 2012, almost 26 percent of MSU students who responded to the survey said they did not have sex within the last year and about 46 percent of the students said they had a single partner. The report also found off-campus respondents were more likely than on-campus students to have unprotected sex as a consequence of drinking.
One way contraceptives are made available to students on campus is through Condom Connection, jointly run by Student Health Services and the Residence Halls Association, or RHA, to provide free condoms to students living in the residence halls. RHA is not doing anything to celebrate the month dedicated to condoms, but RHA director of Health and Safety Katie Neumeier said organizing sexual awareness events next month is just part of the work they do to promote condom use.
As a reflection of efforts to promote and raise awareness about safe sexual practices on campus, MSU ranked No. 48 out of 141 schools on the seventh-annual Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, according to the research conducted by Sperling’s BestPlaces, which was released in fall 2012.
The ranking was based on separate categories having to do with the availability of sexual health resources on campus, including the quality, not just quantity, of the sexual health resources and information on the university health website, contraceptive availability and the health center’s hours of operation, according to the study.
MSU’s National Sexual Health Ranking
34th in 2006
75th in 2007
36th in 2008
7th in 2009
2nd in 2010
39th in 2011
48th in 2012
Source: Trojan Sexual Report Card
Bert Sperling, president of Sperling’s BestPlaces and lead researcher for the study, said some of the things that helped raise MSU’s rankings in the sexual health competition by providing HIV testing on campus, making condoms accessible across campus and educating students about condom availability. He said some ways MSU can improve its ranking and better satisfy students include increasing promotion and expanding drop-in options at Olin Health Center.
There are three condom brands available to students — Trustex, Trojan and Durex, according to Erica Phillipich, coordinator for the center for sexual health promotion at Olin Health Center.
The condoms MSU ordered increased from 15,000 to 20,000 this academic year, Phillipich said.
MSU increased its order this year because last year, there wasn’t enough to go around, Neumeier said.
“As long as we keep our students protected and we give them the resources they need, then we are fulfilling our goal,” she said.