Joan Corcoran, ’13, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Sexual health is a topic at all universities, given the age range and common activities of students, but how it factors into Catholic colleges is another story.
Boston College’s current disagreement with some students over distribution of condoms on campus could be happening at any Catholic college in the nation.
When a group of students wanted to spread awareness about sexual health and safe sex, they knew the school would not be cooperative — contraception is forbidden by the Catholic Church.
The students claimed space on a sidewalk that is not technically BC property, but is owned by the city of Newton. These students not only passed out condoms and information there, but also would go to certain dorms.
These students are now prohibited from passing out safe sex materials in the dorms, and only occupy the sidewalk on Fridays.
Molly Rather, a BC junior, said the campus has been buzzing about this topic. “The college has to evolve with the changing times and cannot restrict safe sex practices. Not everyone who goes here is a practicing Catholic,” said Rather. “They should be able to cater to their diverse student population” Clashes between a modern college lifestyle and Catholic values are becoming more prevalent.
Students who attend state and even private universities have free, easy access to birth control, condoms and testing for STDs. Students at Catholic universities cannot get contraceptives from their college — at Merrimack, contraception is not permitted at Hamel Health Center — and are encouraged to abstain from sex in order to have good sexual health.
When opting to attend these Catholic institutions, students may be opting out of an open and realistic college community. On one hand students get all the benefits of Catholic values and commitment to education; on the other they are restrained from openness to safer sexual health, unless they take to the sidewalks