So where’s all my health nuts and body builders representin’? Where’s all my DP players and Natty Ice haters? Okay, enough cheesy pseudo-rap; I just wanted to find out who on this campus cares about their body, their sex life and their wellbeing. I know I do; that’s why I took a class at Student Health on communication and sexual health two years ago as a freshman. And since then I have embarked on an impassioned journey to better others and myself. But I’m not the first, nor the last. Many a student precede me who have taken advantage of a kick-ass Health Education Dept. here at UCSB. And you know, many of you unwittingly join the ranks of this 25-year-old program here at UCSB.
It was back in the day, when Apple computers, space shuttles, Star Wars and Saturday Night Fever hit the scene, that a lone woman decided to make a difference among the fun-lovin’ students on this campus. In 1977, Sabina White formed a training class for birth control discussion leaders, and her new department later went on to form the first alcohol and eating disorder programs in the UC system. By the time we get to the present day, over 7,000 students have been trained to raise awareness on this campus about sex, alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, rape and relationship skills.
Of course that doesn’t include all you folks who have been infused with health information in places other than the green hallway of Student Health. Remember the cheesy play and condom demonstrations given at your freshman orientation? Yep, if you now remember to “pinch the reservoir tip,” then you’ve benefited from Health Education. Ever dealt with alcohol, sex or nutrition in your film studies, sociology or art studio classes? Yep, once again, you’ve been lovingly sponsored by Health Education. It’s everywhere. There’s no getting around it. But hey, at least it’s powerful and helpful.
So maybe you’ve never heard of the Health Education Dept. til now, and you’re thinking that you want to get in on the action to get your fair share of the help and information. That’s fine. Stop in for free confidential counseling about eating disorders, alcohol use, sex issues or nutrition tips. Take advantage of upcoming events such as Celebrate Your Body week or the annual Safer Sex Faire. Stop into Student Health and get condoms, six for a buck. Attend a presentation on health skills at your local Residence Hall or campus organization meeting. If anything, stop by the Health Education table out in Storke Plaza on March 3-7 to get more information and celebrate 25 years of making the world (of UCSB) a better, healthier place. Hey, you can even rap for us, too.
Michelle Lemire is a junior sociology major and a health education intern