MTSU’s annual ‘Tunnel of Love’ highlights hazards of unsafe sex

Promoters of an informative exhibit set Wednesday, Sept. 23, at MTSU hope to convey the message that there’s more to love than roses and candlelight.

The 2015 Tunnel of Love is slated for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 23 in MTSU’s second-floor Student Union Ballroom.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is in its 14th year.

Casie Higginbotham

Casie Higginbotham

“Part of the ballroom will be the traditional tunnel, and then another section will be for our community agencies that participate each year,” said Casie Higginbotham, a lecturer in the Department of Health and Human Performance and organizer of the event.

Participating agencies include:

  • Planned Parenthood, which will provide free condoms.
  • the Rutherford County Health Department.
  • Portico, a crisis support agency that promotes abstinence.
  • Agape, an adoption agency.
  • MTSU Student Health Services.
  • Nashville CARES, which will conduct free, confidential HIV tests in a nearby area.

The agency room will include interactive games and demonstrations of condom application on plastic models. Some condoms also will be blown up to demonstrate the deterioration — and potential failure — that oil-based lubricants can cause.

tunnel of love broken heart graphic croppedHigginbotham described the Tunnel of Love as a “museum-style exhibit” that includes photos of how sexually transmitted diseases affect the body.

“Our goal is not to scare anybody,” Higginbotham explained. “Our goal is just to make people aware of the potential consequences if they choose to be sexually active so they’ll make safer choices. There’s no such thing as safe sex, but there is safer sex.”

For more information, contact Higginbotham at 615-904-8274 or casie.higginbotham@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)