Rattlers Take on ‘The Amazing Race’ for HIV/AIDS Awareness

About a half a dozen student organizations participated Saturday in ‘The Amazing Race,’ to promote HIV/AIDS awareness on campus.

“The Amazing Race,” coordinated by Sharronda James and Weschester Junior of Students Against the Spread of HIV/AIDS, Access to Rapid Testing (SASHA-ARTs) and Yolanda Bogan, Ph.D. of the Office Counseling Center, was designed to bring awareness of HIV/AIDS in the black community.

The event was designed to promote physical activity, inform participants of the effects of HIV/AIDS in black communities, as well as bring awareness to Black HIV/AIDS day on Tuesday.

Aaron Lancaster, president of The Amine Club, said he was looking forward to “Bragging rights and monetary prizes.” Lancaster has visited South Africa and knows first-hand on how this epidemic is affecting the black race.

There were nine stations around campus. The teams began at the Set, and their first destination was the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences building.

The participants had to decode the names of HIV/AIDS cocktails, which are combinations of three or more medicines taken at one time to keep the individual infected with the disease healthy.

Troy Harris, a fourth-year business administration student, vice president of Student Government Association and member of Beta Nu chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, was glad to know that so many people were passionate about the subject of HIV/AIDS.

Harris was excited that they found a creative way to inform students about the topic, unlike the typical “Room filled with board and pictures.”

For most of the participants, station six was the most intriguing because of the condom demonstrations. Two members from each team had to demonstrate how to properly put on and remove a male condom, and if they did it incorrectly the SASHA-ARTs volunteers would show them the proper way.

Tia Gilmore, a fourth-year computer information system student and member in Naval ROTC Rattler Battalion, said the jump ropes were the most difficult tasks for her. She still enjoyed the ‘Amazing Race’ and hopes that it takes place again next year.

The first place prize went to the NROTC members who received $300. Second place went to Alpha Phi Alpha, who received $200 and FACES Modeling Troupe came in third place and received $100.

SASHA-ARTS and the Office Counseling Center greeted each team with lunch. Professor Andrew Skerritt, from the School of Journalism and Graphic Communications, spoke to all the participants about his novel “Ashamed to Die: Silence, Denial and the Aids Epidemic in the South,” and the effects of HIV/AIDS in the Black community.

Skerritt advised every student in the room that though the HIV/AIDS epidemic is an uphill fight, the, “winning begins with you. Be educated, stand for what you believe… have fun, but be responsible and make the conscious decision that you will protect yourself before you leave home.”