Last month, H*yas for Choice introduced a complementary condom delivery service, modeled after Boston College Students for Sexual Health. Using a Google form, the Georgetown system allows students to request condoms for a party or event up to 48 hours in advance.
H*yas for Choice, which introduced its delivery service with little fanfare early October, has since drawn the condemnation of some student groups and individuals, with some even opining that such a policy could promote sexual assault. And while the service might sound peculiar, under the circumstances it is worthwhile.
Contraception is certainly polarizing on a Catholic campus, but in this case there are subtleties worth exploring. For one, while it is clear that the service seeks to promote safe sex, it is certainly not clear from any evidence that such a policy would increase the level of sexual activity on campus, let alone lead to sexual assault. Providing condoms in a party setting where alcohol is present — versus under more neutral circumstances such as a Student Health Center — is not the best way to communicate the sobering necessity of contraception. But it is also important to recognize that the university’s stringent policy on condoms does not leave H*yas for Choice with many options. Though the group is permitted to table in Red Square and provide a bowl of condoms, few students have the courage to help themselves while so many peers around them rush to class.
Obligated to comply with university regulations, H*yas for Choice is thus required to find less explored avenues to promote safe, protected sex. Of course, free condoms distributed by the Student Health Center would send a better message about the serious implications behind sexual choices. But as this is not permitted, it is understandable and commendable that H*yas for Choice is looking outside of the box.