Boston College claims the student-run safe-sex program “violates the university’s mission as a Catholic institution.”
Boston College, a Jesuit Catholic university, is threatening to take disciplinary action against a group that passes out condoms on campus, claiming they are violating the “university’s mission as a Catholic institution.” According to the Boston Globe, the local ACLU is “threatening legal action after BC officials sent a letter to students on March 15 demanding an end to student-run Safe Sites,” which are a network of dorm rooms that offer students free contraception and information on safe-sex.
The letter received by students living in the Safe Sites, which was signed by both George Arey, director of residence life, and Paul J. Chebator, the dean of students, said,
While we understand that you may not be intentionally violating university policy, we do need to advise you that should we receive any reports that you are, in fact, distributing condoms on campus, the matter would be referred to the student conduct office for disciplinary action by the university.
The chairperson for BC Students for Sexual Health, Lizzie Jekanowski, told the Globe in a phone interview that “the Safe Sites program fills a need that the university is not filling for it’s students.” She also said that the administration has never taken action before, although they have known about the program since it was started. Jekanowski also expressed her frustration with the fact that school officials did not make any attempt to contact the members of the sexual health group before sending the letters to students living in the Safe Sites. She said,
We were very disappointed that the signatories of the letter never contacted us beforehand. We’ve had a very open relationship, and it’s been very positive. This letter was very war-mongering and threatening.
Jekanowski told the Globe that the group has every intention of continuing to distribute condoms and safe-sex information, and that they have several meetings scheduled with six different directors of “various BC administrative offices” toward the end of April.
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