The Wellness Center hosted its first ever Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Screening Day free for St. Olaf Students yesterday in the Lion’s Pause. Working with Rice County Public Health, around 70 students took urine sample tests for gonorrhea and chlamydia — some of the most common STIs in the college population. Students who got tested were also given some informational resources and health supplies such as lubricant and condoms. The screening was paired with an informational hallway display and tabling from Wellness Center Peer Educators on STIs and pregnancy resources such as tests, emergency contraception, and a variety of other sexual health resources.
The event was run by Senior Lucy Moe, nursing and gender and sexuality studies major as well as a Peer Educator at the Wellness Center. This is the first event of this type to be held in recent Wellness Center history.
“This day is important because of accessibility and visibility of STI screening, and related to that, STI stigma. Yes, we have screening on campus but it costs money, and you could go to Planned Parenthood, but how are you going to get there, do you have time in your schedule to get there? I thought it would be nice to have one central place on campus,” Moe said.
Along with the actual event, Moe created a booklet that outlines how to hold this event in the future. This booklet works as a resource and guide for other colleges or institutions to run similar screenings in the future.
“The biggest thing is I just really want to start a conversation promoting sexual health and, in a way, sexual safety, being aware of your own body and how to best protect yourself and others,” Moe said.