By Janelle Harb
As a Jesuit college, Canisius advocates abstinence and solely abstinence in regards to all sexual matters. Hence, sexually active students are not given access on campus to the resources and precautions necessary to combat unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
Recently, strides have been taken at Canisius towards creating a safer environment regarding sexual health, with two free sessions of STD testing being offered at the Student Health Center this year. Dilpreet Kaur ‘17, Chair of the Undergraduate Student Association’s Public Health Committee, along with Patricia Creahan, Director of Student Health, has worked with the Erie County Health Department in order to hold these tests at Canisius in order to be convenient for the student body.
“In 2008, the Erie County Health Department suspended on-campus testing services due to fiscal and staffing constraints on their end,” Creahan said. “I was thrilled last spring when I was contacted by the County to say they were able to return for two clinics this academic year.”
“It was cancelled once in the past [via administration],” Kaur explained, “so it was tough for us to push this through administration again, but we’re very glad that [Patricia Creahan] was able to do this over the summer.”
In regards to confidentiality, Kaur said, “The Erie County Health Department [is] sponsoring the tests, so, like any organization, they want numbers, but that data will never be supplied with your name. But on Canisius’ end and the Health Center’s end, your name will never be recorded, your Canisius ID won’t be put down; it won’t be put on your bill, so your parents won’t find out.”
In this way, your information will remain confidential with Erie County and no records of evidence will be found here at Canisius. This is an effort for students to feel more comfortable with visiting the Student Health Center for these issues.
Looking towards the future, the Committee is still fighting the ongoing battle of bringing condoms to campus but hopes to bring other clinics, such as free eye exams and more mental health sessions.
The clinics are to be scheduled in the Student Health Center in the tunnel beneath Frisch Hall on Wednesday, October 19 from 8:30a.m. to 12p.m. and 1p.m. to 4p.m., and again on Thursday, February 16, 2017 from 8:30a.m. to 12p.m. and 1p.m. to 4p.m. In order to schedule an appointment, students should call Student Health at 716-888-2610. Availability of appointments is limited so it is recommended that students call now to reserve a space for the October session.