Say It Isn’t So: Debunking the Brockport STD Myth

By Mark Cuminale

For many years, The College at Brockport has been the subject of a particularly nasty rumor that claims it has the highest rate of sexually transmitted diseases in the nation.

If you look up “SUNY Brockport” on Urban Dictionary, you’ll find a vulgar account that condemns the college for its “excessively high STD rates,” and its low academic standards.

“In my 17 years [at The College at Brockport] I’ve heard that [the STD rate] is the highest in the state, the country and the world,” Clinic Coordinator at the Hazen Student Health Center Lynne Maier said. “It’s absolutely not true! Our STD rates fit within the national average of any college population.”

Though data indicates that there is nothing abnormal about the STD rate on campus, the rumor still persists.

“It was a rumor I heard freshman year,” senior Elisha “Eli” Madison said. “Everyone was saying that we were number one in chlamydia or herpes or some other vague STD. After I heard like four people say it, I checked to make sure it wasn’t true.”

The fact that Madison no longer believes the STD myth is a testament to his own diligence and research.

For many students, the STD myth gets placed into a mental filing cabinet for obscure information where it stays unchallenged.

“I have heard that we have the highest rate of STDs, on campus, in the dorms and stuff like that,” sports management major Kaylee Pilon said. “I’ve lived in Brockport all my life, so I can’t really justify it, or deny it.”

For Maier, whose office performs around 90 STD tests a month, the fact that the truth is obscured by a heinous myth is a point of contention for her.

“I actually had a friend call me from Buffalo and say she wouldn’t send her daughter to Brockport because of [the rumor],” Maier said. “We should probably do some social media campaigns to help break it.”

Though she doesn’t approve of the false rumors, Maier insists that it is still extremely important for sexually active students to get tested.

“You don’t need to get tested because of the [rumored] high STD rate,” Maier said. “You need to get tested because you’re having unprotected sex and you should want to do what’s best for  your health.”

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