By Katherine Garcia
Peer Educators are ready if students need to talk to someone. They promote safe sex, drug abuse prevention and peer counseling in general.
Their office was always a place students could drop by to pick up a few free condoms.
Unfortunately, during National Condom Week — not to mention Valentine’s Day — that student resource is running low.
“We don’t have an unlimited supply,” Peer Educators adviser Patricia Sanchez- Gorentz said.
The organization’s remaining supply of one box of about 85 condoms is supposed to last through the rest of the semester.
The Peer Educators’ supplier, Hope Action Care, a health promotion and education agency, faces budget cuts like everyone else, making them unable since October to donate their excess supply of condoms to the campus group.
“It’s really hard to try to find someone else because they’re paying for it out of their budget,” education sophomore Mariana Solis said.
Music business freshman Jesus Interiano said the group has not passed out any condoms this semester.
The group will not hand out condoms at their upcoming HIV/AIDS testing event 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday in the nursing complex.
The B.E.A.T. Coalition Trust, or B.E.A.T. Aids, will perform the confidential testing.
Solis said the group hopes to continue to provide free testing two to three times per semester as usual.
On top of the low condom supply, Peer Educators choose not to distribute condoms at the testing sessions for moral reasons, Solis said.
“Due to the respect of other’s beliefs, we don’t go out and hand out condoms,” she said.
Sanchez-Gorentz cites the presence of underage students on campus as another reason they don’t hand out condoms.
“No, we’ve never handed them out on campus,” Sanchez-Gorentz said. “People get offended.”
Students are welcome to pick some up in the Peer Educator’s office, she said.
Although few people know about the resource, Interiano said there are more people willing to come in and pick up condoms for themselves.
“Faculty can also get them,” Solis said. “These are for everybody.”
As Valentine’s Day approaches, the demand for condoms increases, Solis said, adding that the same is true before school holidays and at semester ends.
She said there has not been an increase in demand, but the coming holidays could change that.
“After spring break, I think we’re gonna need a lot more,” Solis said.
For more information, call 210-486-1448 or visit Room 144 of Moody.