Pregnancy prevention program educates students

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Bae B Safe hands out materials and information during Club Rush. Photo courtesy Palo Alto College.

By Alyssa Ytuarte
Pulse Staff Reporter

Bae B Safe is a sex education program at Palo Alto College that not all students know about.

For example, Arthur Rangel Jr., 21, a sophomore Criminal Justice major at Palo Alto, said he thought Bae B Safe, “It’s about the Earth and helping taking care of it.”

Sex tends to be a touchy subject for most people; however, it is important to know what is safe and healthy and to be more knowledgeable about contraceptives and safe sex.

While students have their own experience on the matter, most do not get educated on the dangers of unprotected sexual intercourse.

The teen birth rate in San Antonio has decreased by 53 percent in the last 10 years; however, it still remains 49 percent higher than the entire U.S. average, according to the City of San Antonio’s Metropolitan Health District.

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Jamie Sarmiento speaking to PAC students at Bae B safe Valentine’s Day event. Photo courtesy Palo Alto College.

Jamie Sarmiento, Bae B Safe coordinator of Student Success, said, “Empowering student to make the best and most educated decisions for their sexual and reproductive health” is their goal.

 

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Jamie Sarmiento educating PAC students on Sexually Transmitted Infections. Photo courtesy Palo Alto College.

Bae B Safe is designed to educate students about teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, emergency contraception, condoms and how to encourage pregnancy prevention among students. Pregnancy can be a life-changing experience that could prevent young women from finishing their education.

“Bae B Safe gets 1,000 to 5,000 free condoms every month from their partnership with the San Antonio AIDS Foundation,” said Sarmiento, who hands out approximately 300 to 450 monthly to PAC students.

Bae B Safe gets the word out at campus events, such as Club Rush and New Student Orientations. They also go into classrooms to recruit people to take their version of a seminar on sex.

Teen births by females in the 18 to 19 age group was 1,403 births, 69 percent of all San Antonio’s teen pregnancies, according to the City of San Antonio Metropolitan Health District 2016 report.

Bae B Safe is trying to reach this specific age group. College freshman are usually between the ages 18 to 19, where more than half of the total of teen births occur.

Bae B Safe provides information to mothers-to-be on mothering, as well as a private room for new mothers where they can breastfeed their child. Bae B Safe has breast pumps for mothers to pump their milk into bottles, if need be. The plan is get the room filled with more equipment and more information for new mothers.

Another big part of the Bae B Safe program is sexually transmitted infections testing and providing information. The office has pamphlets on STI facts and information provided by the San Antonio AIDS Foundation.

Free testing dates are Monday, March 26, from 9 a.m. to noon, and Thursday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center roundabout.

The San Antonio AIDS Foundation will offer free rapid HPV and syphilis testing for students, employees and the community. Results will be available in 10 minutes.

If the free testing is missed, the Bae B Safe Office can give students information on the nearest clinics and their pricing.

Natalie Janavaras, 20, a sophomore Sociology major at Palo Alto, said, “I know that Bae B Safe is a club on campus that educates you over safe sex, sex in general, and anything that has to do with sexual activity.”

Staff came into her EDUC 1300 class. “It was mostly over things I already knew, but I know other people in class didn’t know much and found it pretty educational,” she said.

For more information, students can visit the Bae B Safe Office located in the Student Center, Room 129, down the hall from the bookstore.

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Palo Alto students at the Valentine’s Day event. Photo courtesy Palo Alto College.

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