When Boston College threatened to punish students for distributing condoms on campus back in March, all hell broke loose. The controversial announcement resulted in a campus divide, with some students questioning tradition and others seeking to defend their values and protect their Catholic commitments.
At the time, Georgetown University showed solidarity with BC’s decision to get rid of contraceptives, and now, as it turns out, that same school that stood by BC appears to be more open to alternative modes of condom distribution. At least that’s how it seems now that student group H*yas for Choice has established a new condom delivery service on campus.
Last week H*yas for Choice announced the launch of their new program, which lets students request condoms and informational pamphlets to hand out at parties and any other social events happening around school grounds.
Sound familiar? H*yas for Choice is almost an exact replica of Safe Sites, the student network for safe sex at BC.
It’s not surprising to see H*yas for Choice move forward with its mission to push Georgetown to address the sexual health needs of students, especially considering the fact that Georgetown student and faculty health insurance now covers contraception through United Healthcare. The requirement stipulated by new revisions to the Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to pay directly for contraceptive services for students and employees of nonprofit organizations, which Georgetown identifies as, that oppose providing coverage for contraceptive services on religious grounds.
The problem is, though, that students still cannot obtain contraception on campus, even at the Student Health Center. Which is why H*yas for Choice is making its presence known as a group willing to offer students the resources to ensure safe sex is being practices on campus.
According to an editorial in The Georgetown Voice, “conservative student organizations fear that the presence of condoms at parties may contribute to increased pressure to have sex at parties and higher rates of sexual assault,” concerns that H*yas for Choice finds are purely speculative.
It would be foolish to assume the mere presence of condoms at parties would incite incidents of sexual assault. In fact, there is no reason to believe that enhanced, easy access to contraceptives could endanger any students in any way. Critiques of the program stem more from anxiety about human sexuality than from concerns for safety.
That said, the group is willing to make adjustments to its program if the delivery service has a negative affect on student safety.
Ultimately, “the condom delivery service is progress for Georgetown,” reads the editorial, “and will provide invaluable resources to Georgetown students who continue live in a culture that puts students’ sexual health at risk.”