by Matt Balogh
Catharine Beecher Hall is one of nine residence halls on Central Connecticut State University’s campus. Among the smallest of the buildings, it functions as co-ed housing for both upper and lower classmen. In the “down-the-hill” section of the campus, Beecher is the only co-ed residence hall that does not require an addition charge to housing, and is open to all grade levels.
Started in 2010, both the E-board and Beecher residents came up with a program to promote the practice of safe sex and the use of contraceptives, known as the Condom Carnival. The event primarily focuses on spreading a message of usage of condoms and the prevention of STDs.
Seven years later, the Beecher Hall E-board has brought back the idea to continue the annual event last Wednesday. “Along with continuing the tradition, this event is crucial for education on practicing safe sex, something that many college students may not know much about,” says Brian Ngork, Vice President of Beecher Hall. “People have enjoyed the program every year, and it’s always a great thing to see,” Ngork continued.
This year, both the RAs and E-board of Beecher Hall have set up many booths and games on Vance Lawn to go along with the theme. Beecher had reached out to other halls at the Inter-Residence Council (IRC) meeting, to which Sam May and Seth North Hall agreed to participate in.
Games were assembled to teach facts about STDs and contraceptives, such as a dart game in which the dart represents your chances when having sex of contracting an STD. If the dart hits a balloon with a specific color of beads in it, the colors correspond with a certain STD that you have a risk of getting.
With an attendance of over 350 people each year, Vance Lawn gets packed full of students playing games. Each booth provides the participant with a red ticket, various prizes, and condoms, of course. Once each person gets three tickets, they were allowed to get a free Condom Carnival shirt from the booth. Outside booths, such as participants from the ASAP Center, provided blue tickets for students to get free food with.
The event even included live music, as well as music provided by the campus radio station, WFCS. A cappella groups Fermata the Blue and Chromachord performed, along with rapper T-Hurt and Indie Rock band Static Charmer. The inclusion of live music helped attract people that happened to be walking by between classes, offering a wide variety of music so everyone could find something to enjoy.
“The Condom Carnival is a perfect way to interact with people from all parts of campus,” Beecher Secretary Sean Tarascio mentioned. “It is a real eye-opener to something that is usually considered a touchy subject.”
Fortunately, the bad weather had held off until the very end of the program. Compared to past Condom Carnivals, this one had been less windy, but also a lot less sunny. No news yet on if Beecher Hall plans on continuing the carnival for next year, but there is a strong possibility that the tradition will live on.