Boston College wants to stop the campus-wide condom free-for-all.
“Condoms here, get your condoms here, step right up we’ve got your prophylactics, we’ve got your lube, we’ve got your sexual miscellany!”
So no one said that, but condoms are being distributed on campus by the Boston College Students for Sexual Health group. BCSSH calls the program “Safe Sites.” There are over 18 locations around campus, most of them in dorm rooms. Students can go to these locations to get information about safe-sex and pick up condoms or other goods they might need. It’s hard to see how the school could consider this a bad thing, but it does.
"As a Jesuit, Catholic university, there are certain Catholic commitments that Boston College is called to uphold. We ask our students to respect these commitments, particularly as they pertain to Catholic social teaching on the sanctity of life.”
Good luck with that one.
If the school is unable to recognize that there may be some students who do not ardently follow Catholic traditions, than they should at least praise the student organization that is taking the lead in protecting students sexual health. The chair of BCSSH told the Boston Globe that the administration has known about the Safe Sites campaign for over two years.
Why is Boston College all of a sudden so eager to put a stop to the condom giveaway? No one really knows, but the school has sent out a letter to students involved with the organization threatening them with disciplinary action. In another classy move, the school made no effort to reach out to the school group prior to sending out the letters.
Now the American Civil Liberties Union is involved and threatening legal action. Boston College told the ACLU that it has the right to regulate what happens on its campus because it is a private institution. The ACLU has countered saying that the school has no right to decide what students pursue in their own time and in their own bedrooms.
Private institutions are allowed to enact policies, even if those policies limit constitutional rights. The landmark Supreme Court case, Tinker v Des Moines decided that our first amendment rights can be balanced against a school’s need to keep order. Then again, as an individual who may or may not ascribe to a certain set of beliefs, doesn’t freedom of religion allow me the right to dictate how I choose to, or not to interrupt those beliefs? At what particular point would Boston College's private institution argument end? I'm just wondering because I consider my vagina to be a private institution and Boston College policies do not apply there.
Either way, Boston College is on the losing side of this argument. Their position reflects an archaic way of thinking and they should be embarrassed by it. The school administrators would apparently rather stand by and have people engage in dangerous sexual practices than allow the distribution of condoms.
Thankfully, the student organization has no plans to stop its distribution of condoms which is a good thing for us all. Boston College should be proud of the organization which is not promoting promiscuity but rather smarter sexual practices among a vulnerable student population.