While it may not be the question of the ages, or a tale as old as time, many college students reap the benefits of having free and low-cost sexual health services available to them. But just because these services are readily available, does it means students are more inclined to be sexually active?
We think not.
The issue at hand: college students have sex. And college students will keep having sex whether condoms are being distributed on campus or not. So by making protection readily available, we are promoting safe sex and sexual health, not promiscuity.
Luckily for the students of Slippery Rock University, there is access to the Protection Connection, which offers low-cost condoms and other sexual health supplies.
Staffing this establishment, located inside the Student Health Center, are the HOPE Peer Educators, whose job is to promote the proper use of the services they offer on campus, as well as educate students. HOPE, standing for Healthy Outreach Through Peer Education, has the goal of educating students on healthy living through their peers, or other students.
Their slogan might be “Abstinence is best but protection is next,” but just like everybody else; they know what the reality is for college students today.
In an effort to further educate students, they hold social events like ‘Condom Bingo’ where students have to correctly answer sexual health questions to play the game, and condoms are awarded to the winners of the bingo.
But that is not all these Peer Educators do, they also present other important health-related information on a variety of issues, including underage and dangerous drinking, safer sex practices, stress management, prevention of sexually transmitted infections and healthy living. HOPE programs are available to any student classroom, group, or organization.
Slippery Rock University has this wonderful educational program in place, unlike many private or religious-affiliated institutions.
Just last March there was a movement at Boston College to allow a student-based organization, BC Students for Sexual Health, to promote sexual health and education, while also providing free condoms to students. Various students’ dorm rooms had a “Safe Site” symbol on their door, which signifies that inside are male and female condoms, personal lubricant and safer sex information, according to CNN.com.
The college issued letters to all student participants and shut down this program because it didn’t align with “the mission of Boston College as a Catholic and Jesuit university.”
SRU should be praised for its sexual education efforts, and those who disagree are probably living under a rock.
Just because condoms are being distributed doesn’t mean every student on campus is running rampant. If they do decide to, however, at least they’ll be doing it safely, and that is something we appreciate about our university. You’re doing it right.