College students are going to have sex.
As much as some people would like to sweep this under the rug, it’s true. This fact isn’t going anywhere.
Because of this, I’m not sure why administrators at Boston College have decided to slap some of their students on the wrist for trying to help prevent unwanted pregnancies and STDs.
CNN says student members of BC Students For Sexual Health have received threats of disciplinary action for letting other students know they have condoms available on campus. Members of the group put signs on their dorm room doors that lets their peers know it’s safe to knock and ask for a condom if they need one.
According to CNN, the letter states:
“Should we receive any reports that you are, in fact, distributing condoms on campus, the matter would be referred to the student conduct office for disciplinary action by the University.”
Whoa, disciplinary action for students just trying to help other students? How in the heck can they justify that?
The school claims that the distribution of condoms is a violation of the school rules … and isn’t in line with what the Catholic Church believes.
Well, I’m a Catholic, but I’m almost a realist. I understand that this is against the policy, but maybe it’s time to change the policy.
Students are going to have sex whether the university likes it or not, so maybe it’s time to stop fighting a student group that is trying to help other students, especially the group that claims to be the only one to provide free access to sexual health resources on campus.
The group has decided to notify the American Civil Liberties Union. An attorney for the ACLU told CNN the following:
“The religious freedom is that they can speak out; they can express their values and views and can try to persuade people of them, but not to the extent of punishing those who have a different view of contraception.”
Unfortunately, even if the students decide to take legal action, it might not get them very far. As a private institution, administrators have the right to set their policies as they see fit. If administrators don’t want condoms given out on campus, they have the right to make that call.
But what I hope administrators see is that these students aren’t taking action to try to hurt or harm their peers … they want to help and prevent them from getting hurt. According to the group’s website, members “seek to engage with the health of the whole person — emotional, social, environmental, physical, spiritual, and mental — in order to empower students to make informed and healthy decisions.” Sounds like a good mission to me!
As human beings, we are supposed to look out for one another, so I’m not convinced that a bunch of students should be punished for trying to do the right thing. Here’s to hoping that the school and the group will be able to have an open and honest dialogue and figure out a compromise that suits both parties.