Saturday, October 20

“Cause Room” aims to eliminate stigma


condomdress

Jerry Zhao


In contrast to the frenzy in Ackerman Grand Ballroom, Dance Marathon’s “Cause Room” aims to provide some solitude for participants and houses quilts and a condom dress for pediatric AIDS education.

The room’s contents, which were put together by the Pediatric Aids Coalition at UCLA, aim to educate Dance Marathon participants about the importance of sexual education. Inside the room, there is wallpaper where participants can write their reasons for dancing and what they learned by visiting the room. Quilts made in memory of deceased pediatric AIDS victims hang on adjacent walls.

“A lot of people just come to dance for fun, but this room’s purpose is to eliminate the stigma of pediatric AIDS,” said Samantha Schulte, a Pediatric AIDS Coalition member and third-year global studies student. “Coming here reminds people of what they came to dance for.”

The room also houses the UCLA Sex Squad’s famed condom dress, constructed primarily of pink latex condoms. The Sex Squad, which serves to educate teens on sexual health, has used the dress for other presentations in the past. Similar to the room’s quilts, Schulte said the dress is a way to encourage people to practice safe sex.

However, the room serves another purpose – it is a place for students to rest briefly before returning downstairs to continue dancing. “(The cause room) is nice because it is away from all the action, so it’s a good place to remind people of the cause,” Schulte said.

Compiled by Justin Ching, Bruin contributor.

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