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Letter to the Editor: Texas State does educate on and address student medical needs

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Dear University Star,

My name is Emma Lytle, and I am the President of the student organization, Healthy Cats, here on campus. I read through the University Star published on January 22, 2019, on Health and Wellness and am writing to address the following two articles.

In Ivy Sandoval’s article, “Bobcats, it’s time we had the talk,” the topic of sexual health on college campuses and its importance are discussed. Throughout this article, it is made clear how quality campus communication about issues such as pregnancy, STI’s, and sex education can lead to a healthier and happier campus. Yet, it is written in a way that makes it sound as if these resources are not already available.

Another article, “The Student Health Center should provide affordable care” by Patrick Tchakounte, similarly states that the Student Health Center, and its organizations, are not doing enough to encourage student involvement and healthy choices on campus. As an officer of Healthy Cats, it is a large portion of my job to discuss college behaviors, including sex, drugs and alcohol, and mental health, at Bobcat Preview, UniversitySeminar Classes and other organizations that may request us.

Our presentations are designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to explore and enjoy their sexuality, and other behaviors, in a safe way.

Men Against Violence, or MAV, does similar presentations about consent, sexual assault, and other social issues. For those who are not incoming students, we table in the quad at least once a month for different events such as World AIDS day, Relationship Violence, and Spring Break safety.

Last year, Healthy Cats and MAV hosted 16 campus outreach events, reaching 7267 students. We provided 289 presentations on a variety of health topics that reached a total of 16,320 students, and, of those students, 66% reported that they are very likely to adopt a new health behavior and 96% learned at least one new, positive health behavior.

To say that the Student Health Center doesn’t do enough to educate its students on health issues like these, despite everything that our organizations do, is misleading. Our organizations are aware of the need for sexual health education and are designed to meet these needs.

As far as resources at the Student Health Center, and around campus go, I am providing a few that were not mentioned in the two articles. In Ivy’s article, there were only resources listed for the city of San Marcos and San Antonio, not the campus itself; if a student is without transportation, these options may not be a choice for them. The Student Health Center provides all the care that these clinics offer, such as birth control consultations, pregnancy testing, over-the-counter emergency contraception at an extraordinary discount, and a walk-in STI clinic that has seen significant increases in testing since it was opened. The center offers opportunities for anonymous testing, discounted care and medications, and does everything in its power to make quality healthcare affordable to students.

To review our information, or to have a look at our resources, you can visit: https://www.healthcenter.txstate.edu/

To request a presentation or read more about them, please visit: https://www.healthcenter.txstate.edu/healthycats/request-presentation.html

If you have any concerns or following questions about our organizations, feel free to contact me.

– Emma Lytle, Healthy Cats President and the officers of Men Against Violence

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