Spearheaded by Ryan Aten and April Harris-Snyder of Stu- dent Affairs, the purpose of the hunt was to educate the students about the importance of being wary of sexual partners and the importance of protecting them- selves, a sentiment that Harris- Snyder echoed with megaphone in hand minutes before the students were let loose onto the field.
“These eggs represent your potential sexual partners, pretty on the outside but you don't know what's on the inside," said Harris- Snyder.
While a student may be unaware of the STDs their partner could be harboring until itching, swelling, warts and unsightly and often painful discharges from the genitals alert them that they may have an issue, they had a better idea of what prizes were stuffed inside of the eggs and they were ready to push and shove to get them.
After more than a month of preparation, the eggs were finally ready for the chilly Wednesday afternoon hunt. Once students saw the colorful capsules sprinkled all over the field, they began to buzz with anticipation. Inching further and further in front of the starting line, the crowd was all ready to go minutes before the scheduled start time and Harris-Snyder had to order them back on a few occasions while other eager participants raced to the field and scrambled to find an open spot on the line.
Finally, with the blare of a siren, the hunt was on and the mad dash ensued. Shrieks of joy coupled with playful banter were the soundtrack of the event as students sprinted around enthusiastically grabbing as many eggs they possibly could. For a few minutes it was mass hysteria on the field, but it only lasted a few minutes because almost in the blink of an eye the rotten egg hunt was over.
Some students truly looked like they were on their way back from an intense battle sporting disheveled hair, dirty nails and mud caked pants. A phone was even lost in the mix. As people trudged to the starting point, out of breath and a bit sore it seemed that the fun for the day was over; however, it was only truly beginning.
Soon voices began to call out announcing their prizes after they sifted through their cache of eggs and for every scream of excitement there was one of disappointment to match.
Wide-eyed and hopeful, students pried open their eggs until there was none left and compared their hordes with friends. Whether they racked up a huge amount of cash or only secured a dollar, many participated in the clean-up effort and the field just about spotless when they were through.
It wasn’t only about the money as some students stuck around to read aloud the slips of paper tucked into their eggs declaring which STD they contracted by participating in the hunt.
Amused, one man discovered that he had HPV. To his dismay he may soon learn that the virus doesn’t discriminate and while men are usually primarily relegated to carriers there are instances where men could suffer from genital warts and in much rarer cases anal or penile cancer.
Condoms could help combat STDs, and luckily they were also placed in the eggs and one student jokingly questioned the use of condoms while another announced that Plan B, also known as the morning after pill, was his Plan A.
Plan A for anyone that’s sexually active should be to ensure that both they and their partners are clean because there won’t be a neon sign announcing that they’ve contracted a disease. Symptoms of STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea often go unnoticed or unchecked or they may not even show up at all. And while condoms may be effective, they don’t grant immunity and someone would still be vulnerable to the oral effects of some STDs.
The Rotten Egg Hunt was a means to spread the word of infections and protection by mixing an educational experience with fun and games but only time will tell if the lesson was learned.