by Sarah Owen
Zane Ballard likes to talk about sex. He likes to talk about sex so much he applied for a grant from the Great American Condom Campaign, which sent him 500 condoms for distribution and registered Millsaps as a partner campus.“The Great American Condom Project is a subsidiary project for Advocates for Youth”. Ballard explains, “The specific program advocates for reproductive health, especially on college campuses.” He adds, “In a lot of places, especially very heavily Christian places, there’s a really big stigma against pre-marital or extra-marital sex. I think programs like this are important because they de-stigmatize a very important part of human interaction. So I think in discounting that society creates a lot of barriers for itself that hopefully programs like this and programs that follow will work to break down.”
So where to begin? Ballard thinks, “A good place to start in changing perceptions about sex and STIs is through education. A lot of sex ed. is completely left out of the high school curriculum.”
With the help of Amnesty International, he plans to pass out the 500 condoms in some very creative ways. “This semester, I think I’m going to divvy out around 100 to 200 just to distribute with educational material. Maybe in the dorm lobbies, you’ll see a basket of condoms and some flyers about how to use a condom. You’d be surprised about how many people don’t actually know how to use a condom, because no one ever taught them,” Ballard says. He’s also planning a condom carnival for next semester. “We’re considering dart throws and pin the condom on the penis probably.” He’s even considering condom balloon animals.