Sexual health resolution proposed

As a resident advisor, Student Body President Tricia Anklan said she wishes there was a way she could serve as more of a resource when it comes to sexual health.

“As an RA we are not able to provide condoms for our residents,” she said. “Condoms are still not as accessible as we’d like to see.”

Anklan, along with the three other Bradley University Student Senate student body officers proposed a new sexual health resolution on Tuesday, recommending condoms be more accessible on campus.

The resolution, which is not finalized, proposes that condoms be available in more places on campus such as Bradley University service and information desks, residence hall offices, Markin offices and the wellness office.

“I personally think it’s a good idea,” said senior mathematics and finance major Margaret Drisi. “I don’t know anyone who says because they have condoms they have to have sex. If they are available to students in a place they can just grab them, they wont make unsafe decisions.”

In the resolution, Student Senate officers argue that since every student pays a student health fee covering the expenses of pregnancy testing and sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, the fee should cover condom distribution as well, providing students with access to free condoms.

President of Help Empower and Teach Jason Windish said he supports the idea of offering students sexual protection free of charge.

“We are in support of free condoms but what we’re concerned with is the integrity of the condoms,” he said. “If they are left in bowls for anyone to take they can be punctured or tampered with, even by accident. Students may also be immature or rowdy with the condoms.”

Anklan said to eliminate students ability to tamper with the contraceptives, Student Senate suggests condoms be bagged in groups of three with an informational pamphlet.

Coordinator of the Alcohol Education and Awareness Program of the Wellness program Lyndsey Hawkins also questions the safety of having condoms openly available on campus.

“When I was a student I remember activities and games where condoms were given away as prizes,” she said. “I never felt comfortable with that. Did I really want to receive and use something that is supposed to protect my health and safety from a game?”

Windish said HEAT was also concerned that by having condoms available in common areas, the system would be taken advantage of.

“What we don’t want to see is student and campus resources wasted,” he said. “It took us so long to get where we are with the condom distribution policy, I wouldn’t want anything to happen.”

Hawkins said the Wellness Program’s location in the basement of Markin is not their favorite spot, but it provides some benefit to students.

“I think students who come down to the counseling clinic know they’re going somewhere safe and where no one will see them,” she said. “I think students coming to our office feel the same way. Anyone who works in the office signs a confidentiality agreement and identity is kept private.”

Although to some students visiting the Wellness Center is not as convenient as getting condoms in their resident hall, Hawkins said it is still accessible.

“There has to be at least 1,000 students a day that come through Markin,” she said. “We may be in the basement but we are located at a hot spot on campus.”

Anklan said she does not feel Wellness Center’s location or condom distribution program is conveinent for students.

“In theory it is alot easier than in practice,” she said. “There are a lot of unnecessary barriers.”

Two years ago Bradley’s current condom distribution policy was implemented on campus, allowing the Wellness Center and HEAT to provide students with 15 condoms a month for one dollar after attending “Woody’s Wearing One,” a sexual health program hosted by HEAT.

Hawkins said the start of the condom distribution program was the first time in 15 years condoms could be distributed through the University.

“I think to see any changes to the policy we will have to be patient,” she said. “It took us fifteen years to get here. Nothing happens over night, you just have to take it one step at a time.”