SHAPE informs, teaches leadership

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The Sexual Health Awareness Peer Educators are recruiting members for Fall 2009. The purpose of SHAPE is for students to learn about sexual health and then give presentations about it to other students.

SHAPE is a two-semester process. The first semester is a class where members learn about sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, the health services K-State offers and promoting safe sex. After learning the information, members will give presentations to classes, residence halls, fraternities, sororities or groups of friends.

“Everyone is required to schedule one presentation and they get extra credit for every one given after,” said Kelsie Hageman, junior in pre-health.

SHAPE classes are also worth three credit hours and after completing training, members are certified American Red Cross HIV Educators.

During presentations, there are condom races where two people are blindfolded and spun around and then they have to put a condom on a banana. It is to show how hard it is to put a condom on in the dark while being drunk. They also show you what to check for before using a condom.

“SHAPE is not to promote sex or embarrass anyone, but to educate,” said Kerry Herndon, senior in secondary education.

Adviser Carol Kennedy said SHAPE is for all majors and backgrounds. Anyone can join and according to members, they are looking for more diversity.

SHAPE is also a way to improve public speaking. Deanna Coughlin, junior in family studies, said her public speaking has greatly improved.

“You start out uncomfortable but as time progresses, you just don’t care,” Coughlin said. “You’re just not scared of presentations anymore.”

One of the reasons Hageman joined was so she could not be awkward talking about potentially uncomfortable things, since she is a pre-medicine major.

“I’m going to have to talk to patients about all sorts of things,” Hageman said. “The topic interests me as well.”

While they are promoting information, SHAPE members said they still have a lot of fun in the class.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Herndon said. “We all get along very well.”

Shaina Griggs, junior in family studies, said she thinks people should join SHAPE because of how important it is.

“It is a fun class but you also get good experience,” Griggs said.

To join SHAPE, there is an application online at www.k-state.edu/lafene/SHAPE. Applications can be emailed or taken to Lafene Health Center.

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