On Monday, the Health Education and Promotion (HEP) department unveiled an all-new Love Lab cart. The cart will be touring around campus until Thursday at the Activities and Recreation Center and Memorial Union.
Donated by the Capital City AIDS fund, a non-profit organization that raises money in support of HIV/AIDS services in the Sacramento area, the new Love Lab is bigger and more modern looking.
“It’s definitely more inviting, and that’s why we want to promote it as much as possible,” said Jason Spitzer, a sexual, social and stress health educator at HEP. “We’re excited to get out on campus and engage with the students. Our volunteers are trained and ready to answer any questions you may have. There are no wrong questions.”
The new Love Lab also plans on giving demonstrations and playing games for prizes. Spitzer said he is excited about the educational skill-building the Love Lab will bring.
“We will be having students watch how to properly use condoms and other products and then ask them to teach it back to our volunteers for prizes,” he said. “The last thing we would want is for a student to receive products from the Love Lab and not know how to properly use them. That would defeat the purpose.”
The American Social Health Association reported that there are over 19 million new cases of STDs/STIs every year, only some of which are curable.
As in recent years, the Love Lab will be handing out 10 free condoms and packets of lubrication per student.
“We encourage everyone to stop by, check out the new Love Lab and ask questions,” Spitzer said. “The more questions and the more dialogue we can have around these products, the more comfortable people are with using them and using them correctly.”
Students agree that a new Love Lab will definitely help increase awareness of safe sex and better engage with the campus.
“They do a good job getting the message out to [first-year students] by coming to the DC and passing out condoms,” said Mike Manas, a first-year economics major. “I can imagine a new Love Lab would only increase their presence on campus, and to [first-year students] in particular, as it’s hard to ignore when you walk in and out of the DC.”
Olivia Henry, a junior anthropology major has never visited the cart before but admitted a flashier cart would probably attract more people.
“If I remember correctly, the one they had before was kind of janky,” she said.
The Capital City AIDS fund donated the new Love Lab cart. The organization is governed by an all-volunteer board made up of community leaders, and annually donates to various Sacramento area non-profit HIV/Aids Services.
“Someone there saw our cart and brainstormed a few ways to make it look sleeker and more inviting,” Spitzer said. “I think we’ve definitely succeeded in doing so. We’re very thankful for their help.”
Access to links about STDs/STIs and other statistics and information can be found at the Student Health Services website or by visiting the Love Lab this week.
ANDY VERDEROSA can be reached at email@example.com.