Georgetown finished tied for 115th out of 139 U.S. universities on Trojan Condoms’ second annual sexual health survey, a slight drop from the school’s ranking a year ago.
Trojan reviewed 139 Division I universities and assessed each of their sexual health programs in 11 different categories. Schools received letter grades for each, given an overall GPA and ranked accordingly in the 2007 Sexual Health Report Card. Georgetown finished 80th out of the 100 universities surveyed last year.
Georgetown received “B”s in hours of operation, sex health awareness programs, HIV and STI testing, and sexual assault programs, and “C”s in appointment availability, anonymous advice and Web site accessibility. The university failed in the categories of condom and contraceptive availability, lecture outreach programs and student peer groups. Georgetown does not provide contraceptives on campus.
Improvements were still shown in several of the categories, including a rise from an “F” last year to a “C” in the availability of anonymous advice and a rise from a “D” last year to a “B” this year in sexual assault programs. Georgetown also rose from a “C” last year to a “B” this year in HIV and STI testing and from a “D” last year to a “C” this year in Web site accessibility. The university fell from a “C” grade to an “F” in the category of condom and contraceptive accessibility.
Georgetown’s cumulative 2.09 GPA in the survey ranked well below both the year’s average mark of 2.70. Among Catholic universities, however, Georgetown’s GPA ranked above the average GPA of 1.97. Boston College ranked 120th with a GPA of 1.91, while the University of Notre Dame ranked 109th with a GPA of 2.27.
Georgetown tied with the University of Cincinnati and Northern Illinois University.
Carol Day, director of health education services at Georgetown, said that she was not surprised with the low ranking because of the university’s Catholic status.
“We are not a place where we are giving out contraceptives,” she said. “We must be consistent with our Catholic identity, and [this survey] faults us for that.”
Day said Georgetown has a number of excellent, accessible sexual health resources. At the same time, she said there is room for improvement.
“I value student input, analysis, and even this sort of criticism, and I like to look at these things as an opportunity to do more and bring the conversation to the forefront,” Day said.
Jim Daniels, vice president of marketing for Trojan, said that Trojan Evolve and the Sexual Health Report Card are designed to address issues concerning their target age group, those from 18 to 24.
“Most importantly, we hope this study creates dialogue on campus and helps people make the best choices for their lives,” he said. “College is a time of enlightenment, and having comprehensive, fact-based information is critical in evolving their lives and their sexual health.”
The study only takes into consideration university resources on sexual health, not unaffiliated organizations, like H*yas for Choice.
Julia Marter (COL ’08) and Nicole Cramer (COL ’08), board members of H*yas for Choice, said in a joint statement that they believe their organization provides an important service by filling a void in sexual health awareness and services at Georgetown.
“Georgetown’s two most egregious faults are the lack of condoms – for purchase or free distribution – on campus, and the lack of comprehensive sexual health information offered on the Georgetown Web site,” they said. “The goal for Georgetown would be to find a way to offer at least these two resources in a way that is respectful to our Catholic heritage.”
Lauren Funk (SFS ’10), vice president of GU Right to Life, said she is skeptical of this survey’s “biased data collection,” but acknowledged the need for better programs and support systems.
“I see no reason to doubt that this part of our university’s identity is entirely compatible with, and supportive of, sexual awareness education,” she said.* “In the same way I would expect Georgetown to care for our mental, spiritual and intellectual well-being.”