AIDS awareness comes to WU

April 26 through May 1 marks the first AIDS Awareness week on Washburn campus. The week is sponsored by the Black Student Union and the Topeka AIDS Project, and will feature several events throughout the week to bring awareness of the disease to Washburn.

The week will start off with Amateur Night, which will take over Washburn Room A on April 26. The event will begin and end with feature performances by the Bods for Christ gospel choir. Jerry Finney, women’s prevention program coordinator for the Topeka AIDS Project, will be the guest speaker and will present information about the disease and ways for it to be prevented. There will be many performances at the event such as singing, rapping and poetry readings. The event will have the theme of “Night at the Apollo,” and have announcers to represent the characters from the iconic TV show.

Tuesday, the BSU and TAP hosted a table in the Memorial Union for students to stop by and pick up information about the disease and ways to prevent it. The BSU will also have a table set up in the Union today. BSU will be handing out free condoms donated by Lifestyle.

Thursday, there will be free HIV testing in the Union from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to come and get tested. The campus group with the most participants will win a prize.

Friday night the group will end its week of activities with a night out at the Jet Ultra Lounge located at Huntoon and Gage. Adults age 18 and above are invited and donations will be accepted at the door.

The Topeka AIDS Project is co-sponsoring the event with the BSU. TAP was founded in 1985 and provides support to people infected with the HIV in 14 surrounding counties. The group has caseworkers who provide assistance and help with independent living, referrals and nutritional guidance. Yvette Garcia, a case worker for TAP, said that they would be doing the testing on Thursday in the Union. The testing involves a simple finger prick and the individual will find out their results in approximately  15 minutes.

Nakia Scott, a junior and vice president of the BSU, said that they want this event to be the first event of the new BSU as it hopes to become a more recognizable force on campus. She said that the group wants to intermingle with other groups and start doing more events.

“Black Student Union with Topeka AIDS Project is using this event to bring life to BSU,” said Scott.