While it appeared that the funding for the Testy Tuesday monthly event was cut, the program is running and still available to whoever needs it on campus.
Testy Tuesday is an event that normally occurs on the first Tuesday of the month during the undergraduate school year. The monthly event is devoted to offering reduced prices for sexually transmitted disease testing.
The monthly Testy Tuesdays are due to start Nov. 1, after Kerri Lauchner, the director of Health Services, was able to ensure that this service continued to be offered and there was avaliable funding from Health Services, Student Life and the Center for Equality and Justice.
“The program was not cut. Funding for any program could change year to year and we reassess our ability to offer it each year,” Lauchner said in an email interview.
Lauchner continued to say that due to the change in the program’s funding, there were numerous pieces that had to be present to make sure that the program was still able to happen, and that took some time this year.
“I feel the program is worthy as STD rates are increasing nationally and statewide,” Lauchner said in an email interview. “One of the most common STDs is Chlamydia which frequently causes no symptoms so testing sexually active persons for it is highly recommended.”
Cynthia Duarte, the director for the Center for Equality and Justice, understands the threat and commonality of STDs. She constantly has male and female condoms taped around and on the door to her office, as well as an informational sign regarding them too.
“One of our former SPCs [Student Planning Coordinators] was Hannah Connor, and this was a cause that she took up,” Duarte said. “And so this was about sexual health, and I believe the [Center for Equality and Justice] office has been involved with Testy Tuesdays, supporting it financially, and I think some of our SPCs. And [Testy Tuesdays] important because health awareness and health care is important to society.”
Duarte went on to explain that Conner came up with a health program which worked with a local health organization to be able to receive condoms.
“My SPC comes about once a week, and will tape [the condoms] all over the door,” Duarte said. “I have literally never seen anybody take a condom, and yet, I’ll be sitting in my office and walk out, and half of them will be gone. They don’t last the week.”
And while Duarte seemed to be pleased that the Testy Tuesday event was back on, some students, like Trinity Hall’s Resident Assistant Alberto Ortiz, didn’t know for sure if the event was still on or not.
“I actually did hear something about that . . . but not from any RA source, but just from people talking…the student world,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz, when he heard about the event not being there, wasn’t happy about not knowing if the event was operational, since students were counting on it.
“Honestly, I know a couple students who kind of want to go and [get tested, and] since we didn’t hear any advertisement or anything that really told us it was going to be temporarily removed, I feel like that’s something we really need to talk about,” Ortiz said.
Lauchner and Scott Silverman in Student Life said that posters had been made for the event.
Duarte said students can stop by Swenson 109 if they’d like to know more about gaining resources for their sexual health.