Free condoms, other goodies handed out at Healthyhorns Fest

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Say the word “free” and every college student will come running, which is exactly what they did at Healthyhorns Fest, hosted by University Health Services at Gregory Plaza on Wednesday .

Free apples, hand sanitizer, T-shirts, pocket first aid kits and water bottles were easy to snag but the most popular booth was Sex Trivia, where students received free condoms upon answering questions correctly.

University Health Services provided students with a lot of information on how to stay healthy, said Susan Hochman, assistant director for public information and health promotion. 

The information included high-risk drinking prevention, their new “nap map” to show students the best places to sleep around campus and their flu shot campaign that starts Sept. 24 . 

“University Health Services is here to prevent health-related issues from becoming a barrier in students’ academic performance,” Hochman said.

After conducting surveys, UHS discovered that the main reasons students suffer negative academic impact are colds, the flu and sore throat.

“The goal is for students to get to know the types of services that UHS offers, to know all the partners in health on campus and also maybe to learn something that will help them stay healthier and have a little fun,” said Sherry Bell, consumer education and outreach coordinator for University Health Services.

Students also demonstrated yoga, fencing and ballroom dancing on the steps of Gregory, and UTPD held a session.

The three UHS student volunteer programs — the clinic volunteer program, student health advisory committee and Healthyhorns peer educators — were some of the 100 volunteers who helped at the festival. 

Government junior Kevin Alcantar was an alcohol peer mentor last semester and is now a part of the revamped Healthyhorns peer educators program that allows students to get course credit and develop public health leadership skills.

“I had some family members who had trouble with alcohol and was personally motivated to educate as many students about the negative impacts alcohol can have in your life if you don’t have it under control,” Alcantar said.

Alcantar volunteered at various booths, similarly to other students in the program. Alcantar assisted at the Love Your Body  booth to encourage students to focus positively on themselves in addition to helping other tables at the fair.

The Student Health Advisory Committee also asked students if they felt like UHS would be successful doing dental care. The results from questions such as this are sent to UHS to give them feedback.

“It makes the relationship between health care and students closer,” health promotion senior Meredith Labrasca said. 

Labrasca said she was happy with the heavy traffic at the event and that it allowed organizations to get the publicity they deserve. 

This is the second year the Healthyhorns Fest has been at Gregory Plaza.