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Condom plan nearly finalized

The condom distribution plan will likely begin in late March, but students will have to pay a small fee to pick up the contraception.

The original plan called for 15 free condoms a month per student on the condition that the student attended a Help, Empower and Teach sexual health presentation detailing how to use condoms correctly.

But after discussion at a Board of Trustees meeting, where the resolution was brought up as an informational item, the Wellness Center will charge one dollar a month for the 15 condoms.

“It’s a nominal amount,” Vice President of Student Affairs Alan Galsky said. “They don’t just give [condoms] away in drug stores.”

Galsky also said the fee would eliminate concern from students who don’t want their student health fee of $72 per semester paying for contraception, adding that some students have “very strong feelings” about contraception being available on campus.

“It’s an emotional issue, it’s an ethical issue,” he said. “We spend the student [health] fees on lots of things and don’t ask for approval, but here, we wanted a change.”

Tricia Anklan, Student Senate vice president and HEAT member, said the dollar fee was “not really what senate wanted, but that’s all [the Board of Trustees] were willing to give.”

The school will receive 500 free Trojan condoms through the Great American CondomCampaign and can later order condoms at a cost of 5 cents apiece. Galsky said profits from condom sales will go to HEAT to purchase more condoms.

“At this point, it seems that this is all [the administration] is comfortable with,” Anklan said.

The original policy, introduced to Student Senate in October, called for students to attend a HEAT sexual health presentation before registering with the Wellness Center to receive free condoms. Students would have needed to present their student ID cards to pick up the contraceptives.

After senate passed the resolution, the President’s Cabinet reviewed the policy and revised it, allowing students to receive a card verifying their HEAT presentation attendance to offer more student privacy. Senate approved this revision, and the resolution went to the Student Affairs Committee and then the Board of Trustees.

The resolution will be presented as an informational item at the Parents’ Board meeting on Feb. 13. Galsky said after that meeting, the Wellness Center will need about a month to set a procedure in place for the program’s implementation. He said students will likely be able to begin attending HEAT presentations and picking up condoms after Spring Break.

Anklan said while the program isn’t exactly how senate envisioned it, at least students will have condoms on campus.

“It’s frustrating that students will have to pay a dollar, but it’s a minimal fee for the amount you’d pay for a box of condoms,” she said.

At Walgreens, a box of 12 Trojan condoms retails for between $10 and $13.

Both Anklan and Wellness Center Director Melissa Sage-Bollenbach said they weren’t sure what kind of student response to expect. Sage-Bollenbach said she would order 1,000 condoms for the program’s first month.

“All 13 years I’ve worked here, students have wanted a program like this,” she said. “It will probably be in high demand.”

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