Annual AIDS Lock-In returns on Friday

Morgan State’s annual lock in to raise awareness for HIV and AIDS prevention returns this Friday with over 50 student organizations.


Justice Georgie

Morgan State’s University Student center.

Nia Lillard, Staff Writer

The annual AIDS Lock-In returns on Friday as a university initiative to provide educational forums, prevention workshops, and on-site confidential testing regarding sexually transmitted infections or diseases (STDs.)  The event occurs each year around World AIDS Day, Dec. 1.

Student organizations will have informative tables on AIDS prevention in the University Student Center from 5 to 8 p.m. The tabling leads up to the lock in performance showcase in the Hill Field House at 9 p.m.

Students cannot leave until the event is concluded. 

AIDS Lock-In has evolved over the years since its start in the 1990s and is considered to be a memorable part of the Morgan experience. 

Over 55 organizations will have a table in the student center and 13 student organizations will perform at the showcase, according to Danny Molock Jr., director of the Student Life and Development.

“This is the first year that we have done two separate events,” he said. “We wanted to move the showcase to [Hill Field House] so that any and all students can attend.” 

Molock encourages every student to attend and take advantage of this educational opportunity. 

Each table will have interactive games or activities that will teach students more about STDs and sexual health. Organizations were able to choose from topics such as LGBTQ+ relationships, toxic masculinity, sexual carelessness, and domestic violence for their skits/perfomances at the showcase. 

There will also be STD testing available via StarTrek in the University Student Center circle from 5 to 8 p.m., as well as student workshops provided by the Baltimore County Health Department. 

Tickets are free for students and $5 for non-Morgan students. They will be on sale until 5 p.m. on Friday. Tickets must be presented at Hill Field House before entering the AIDS Lock-In Showcase.

Last year, the university reached its second highest number of COVID-19 cases through the university’s testing system following the lock in on Dec. 3, 2021. 

After travels from the Thanksgiving holiday break, the lock in, and the last home men’s basketball game, 17 people tested positive through the university’s testing system. 

Eight students tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the AIDS Lock-In event, according to Larry Jones, assistant vice president of public relations and strategic communications.

University officials like Anita Hawkins, associate dean of the School of Community Health and Policy, were hesitant to deem the event a COVID outbreak.

“On test day, an increase happened six to seven days after lock-in, after the [last men’s home] basketball game,” Hawkins said last year. “It evokes more emotion and concern to say that a lock-in was the cause of an outbreak than it does for a basketball game causes an outbreak. It’s built on some level of fact but it’s exaggerated.”

Molock declined to speak about the outbreak on the record. 

“I was scared as hell,” says Cybil Bailey, a senior political science major. “And I was mad that the [University] didn’t say anything after it happened.” 

COVID-19 protocols will remain the same as all other on-campus events, according to Molock.

Masks are highly encouraged but not required for students and staff. Anyone who is feeling COVID-19 symptoms is encouraged to get tested. 

Torrey “Deuce” Rogers II, a senior marketing major, says that he is not worried there will be another COVID-19 outbreak. 

Rogers is dissatisfied with the fact that many new students associate the tradition with a COVID-19 outbreak, and he believes that the school could have done more to prevent the spike in positive cases. 

“For big events I always have said they should mandate testing like four days in advance to make sure nothing would spread,” he said. “Especially for the non-Morgan people attending.”