Condoms, puppies and capture the flag: what more could a college student ask for? This week was Alpha Phi Omega’s (APO) national service week. In honor of this year’s theme, “Fighting Against Diseases,” the university’s local chapter decided to raise awareness of sexual, mental and cardiovascular health.
“Our overall goal was getting people to talk about [their health] and having this stuff out in the public,” APO co-vice president Elizabeth Funk said. “In a college campus, it’s always good to get more information out, especially the sexual health.”
The group started the week by passing out condoms and pamphlets on positive relationships and sexual health in the Bishop’s Lounge. They worked closely with Betsey Warren, the Wellness Counselor and Outreach Specialist, to present students with pertinent information on men and women’s sexual health.
Their table featured a poster presenting common myths and facts.
“Since we’re on a college campus, we felt that it was really important for students to be aware of the risks and options in their sexual health,” APO member Andrea Gannon said. “Plus, cute posters are just really awesome, especially when they’re for such a good cause.”
Wednesday was dedicated to mental health, particularly being stress-free. APO members brought their dogs to the mall and students enjoyed some friendly puppy cuddles and positive thoughts.
“There’s a lot of data out there about how just interacting with an animal can have really positive stress relief, especially for college kids,” Funk said. “I know I miss my dog so much, so we thought it would be cool just to give students that kind of stress relief.”
Their service week wrapped up today with information about cardiovascular health. APO hosted recess time, where they featured a game of capture the flag and provided hula hoops, Frisbees and other games to entertain students.
“Heart disease is such a big thing, especially for women, so we wanted to do a field day to promote a healthy heart,” Funk said.
Although national awareness week is coming to a close, APO isn’t slowing down. They have service projects planned every weekend for the rest of the semester. Locally, they volunteer at The Caring Place and various shelters. They also work in surrounding communities to help those in need.
“It’s focused on service, and we try to do a variety of things because we have a pretty good variety of interests,” Funk said.