RTV5 set to feature new health show
Sex on television is no longer as taboo as it once was, so it may come as little shock that RTV5 is combining business with pleasure by creating a new show that mixes entertainment with a healthy dose of sexual education. The main objective of the show, "Strapped for Rice," will be to highlight different health issues as well as provide artistic performances in what religious studies graduate student Aundrea Matthews, the creator of the show, calls "edutainment."
"We're going to educate while entertaining," Matthews said.
She said the 30-minute program will feature messages on health, with a focus on safe sex and prevention, but it will also showcase guest speakers and spotlight students to gauge their opinions on health issues.
Baker College junior Ginnie Chan, who heads the filming, editing and promotion of the show, said the first episode is planned to air before the end of this semester. Those who miss the show can access it online at www.rtv5.rice.edu/watch.
Matthews, who has friends in the local film industry, said due to the number of student organizations with health interests and the proximity of the Texas Medical Center, Rice was in the best position to create a health show.
"It's ridiculous that we're across from the Texas Medical Center and there's a lot of pre-med students and students involved in health organizations and we're not taking the lead in talking about health issues on campus," Matthews said.
She said she got the idea for the show from a class she took that dealt with the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
"We can no longer be silent about the effects of our sexual practices, and [we] need the knowledge to be socially responsible," Matthews said. "This show will hopefully be a beacon for how campuses can utilize school resources and for school organizations to really educate people about safe sex and sexual behaviors that are socially responsible."
The show is the first of its kind at Rice, Chan said.
"Most of our shows have been purely entertainment - for example, 'Top Cocktail' or 'Talk of the Snations' - whereas 'Strapped for Rice' is not only entertaining, but there's a message in there," Chan said. "Since we're students ourselves, we can use our perspective to lead the content into something that would actually benefit the Rice campus."
While promoting safe sex practices is the program's overall theme, the first show's health topic will feature a panel discussion on energy drinks, including their advantages and disadvantages, and why the products are targeted to college students, Matthews said. The event is open to the public and will be in Herring Hall 100 tomorrow at 3 p.m. The panel will include representatives from the industry, who will offer free samples of drinks such as Monster, Enzo and Nerd to those in attendance.
"Whatever our forum discussion, the audience will get free information and products," Matthews said. "Not only will we talk about energy drinks, we'll be able to taste the energy drinks and hold information that's tangible."
The health messages will be interspersed with entertainment features, Matthews said, catering to students who want more social events and social interactions featured. She is hoping to tap into the Houston community to feature celebrities and offer snippets of concerts on and off campus. Matthews is working with community members to identify celebrities and ask them to give a shout-out to Rice.
"If anyone's coming to Houston that's pretty hot, Rice students will get to be a part of that activity, even though we couldn't make it," she said. "I think it'd be just as effective to have R. Kelly go 'What's up, Rice.'"
The first show will feature an interview with the band Augustana, who will be playing at the Homecoming Concert. In addition, Matthews is hoping to get city officials and major figures in the health industry on future shows.
The show will also have a feature called Street Cam, which captures student reactions and opinions on health issues.
"We're going to provide information from our panelist [to students] but we also want to hear what the student population themselves think about the issue," Chan said.
While Matthews said she does not foresee any major challenges in getting guest speakers for the show, she hopes students will take an interest in participating.
"The hardest thing is to get Rice students talking to the camera and giving each other a shout-out and being more interactive," Matthews said.
She said she hopes the show will help put Rice on the map in terms of health prevention and discussion of health issues.
"Competitor schools are taking the lead on sex prevention and awareness on campus," she said. "We're not even ranked for safe sex or condom distribution, or any health-sexual issues.
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