After Fall Break, Student Senate will vote on a piece of legislation that could set up the distribution of condoms on campus.
It’s clear to us that this is a step in the right direction, and we strongly encourage each senator to vote for it.
The lack of available condoms on campus has long been a bone of contention with students, and it’s time for that to change.
According to a study conducted by the National College Heath Assessment, about 37 percent of Bradley students have sexual intercourse on a regular basis.
That number isn’t all that shocking.
What is shocking is that less than 25 percent of those students are using condoms when having sex.
What’s even more shocking is that the number of unintended pregnancies has nearly quadrupled in the last three years.
That number is now at 1.8 percent, meaning nearly two out of every 100 female students are becoming pregnant, according to the study.
It’s easy to argue that contraceptives are an individual’s responsibility, and that argument does have merit. Students should be buying and using the condoms for themselves, but some may be too embarrassed, for some reason, to buy them. Others may simply not have the money to buy some condoms.
Don’t get us wrong, if students deem themselves responsible enough to have sex, they should be using protection, but that doesn’t mean the university shouldn’t be better promoting that protection.
And for a university that touts itself as one eager to protect its students from potential health problems, distributing condoms seems like a no-brainer, and it’s upsetting that we’ve gone this long without doing so.
Sure, the university sponsors Help, Empower and Teach, which presents safe sex practices to nearly every student on campus. But what’s the point of preaching safe sex without backing it up?
Unprotected sex is a health risk, much like the seasonal and H1N1 flues.
Bradley has put together an intensive campaign aimed at cutting back on the number of students and faculty out with the flu this year, and that’s great. Between what must be hundreds of pounds of hand sanitizer to the hundreds of signs put up across campus, the administration has proven they aren’t taking this threat lightly.
Why is the issue of safe sex any different than that one?
They both concern the public health, and Bradley students don’t seem to be using them as much as they should be. We’re sure that would change should the condom ban be lifted.
Senate’s plan isn’t too in-your-face, either, which is nice.
Students would be registered to receive condoms after attending a HEAT sexual health presentation, which is given to virtually all students in one setting or another.
Students would then be eligible to receive a pack of 15 condoms each month.
Students would also be getting the condoms from other students, which would likely eliminate any embarrassment factor. The condoms would be distributed by HEAT members.
While the ideal situation would be for condoms to be freely available in every student-orientated building, such as the Michel Student Center and Markin Family Student Recreation Center, this is still a great first step.
Money need not be a concern to the university as tons of organizations will either directly supply condoms, or they’ll sponsor grants to purchase condoms. Either way, the proposal won’t be costing the university all that much money.
So we not only encourage Senate to approve the plan, but we also very strongly encourage university administration to support the plan to the Board of Trustees and the Parents’ Board, where it will be presented should it pass in Senate.
And we not only encourage the Board of Trustees to see this, but we expect it to be presented at the next meeting, which is about a week about the Senate meeting where it will be voted on.
Bradley’s way behind the times on this one, and it’s an easy fix that would make a concrete improvement on campus.