Blog: Let's Talk About Campaign Round-Up

Your VP Welfare and Diversity, Willow Wong, rounds off the Let's Talk About Campaign and discusses lobbying the college for regular free STI tests every month.

As ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ week is coming to an end, let’s recap what we have achieved over these last few days…

Let's Talk About Sex Giveaway

Speaking of freebies, we gave out 100 goodie bags to students during the Tuesday market day at the SU! The goodie bags contained condoms, tampons and personal safety alarms which are helpful for students’ personal safety and wellbeing.

Missed out on the giveaway? Don’t worry! These goodies are available for free at the SU Advice Centre all day, every day. If you ever need a condom or a sanitary pad because your period made a surprise visit, we’ve got you covered!

Guess what? You can also collect a free STI testing kit by going to the Advice Centre, or simply asking for one from the SU helpdesk. In order to get yourself tested, you can collect a testing kit, follow the instructions in the packet, post the kit off to the labs for free and get your results via text within a week. The entire process is super easy, so get yourself checked out now!

Free STI Testing

Over 122 of you attended the STI testing day at Tommy’s Lounge on Monday, which is such a strong turn-out considering the event only lasted only two hours!

We had students across 15 societies, 13 sports clubs, three media outlets plus RAG supporting their groups to take an active step in promoting sexual health awareness. Amongst the participating student groups, the top two winners of the STI test drive are Royal Holloway Netball & Royal Holloway Musical Theatre Society, who have each managed to encourage nine members to support the STI testing day.

Could We Make Free STI Testing A Regular Thing?

The overwhelming attraction that the STI testing day has gained truly demonstrated that access to regular sexual health testing is crucial for student health and wellbeing.

At the event, many of you asked if the STI testing service is here to stay. Currently, the SU doesn’t have the resources to maintain a regular drop-in STI clinic. However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prioritize student wellbeing because of constraint in resources, especially when there still isn’t an STI clinic at the health centre on campus.

How Can I Help?

If you believe that students should have easy access to STI testing provision, please drop me an email to submit a testimony so I can lobby the college to allocate dedicated funding to help RHSU host a monthly STI testing service based at RHSU, which will ensure students who need STI testing won’t have to miss out on lectures to travel all the way to the sexual health clinic based in Slough.

The additional funding will also enable RHSU to bring a wider range of sexual health provision onto campus beyond what was available at the STI testing day, which were testing for chlamydia and gonorrhoea. For example, RHSU will be able to use the college’s funding to provide free HIV testing to students which would have costed £24 per test otherwise.

What Next?

To round of a successful week of sexual health awesomeness, please join me at the ‘Let’s Talk About Porn’ event for a candid, funny, informative panel demystifying why people watch and read pornographic material, and what we can learn from porn. ‘Let’s Talk About Porn’ is taking place on 9 Feb on 6:30pm at ALT-1.