After Students for Sexual Health (SSH) released the results of a survey that revealed a fraction of Boston College students’ sexual health practices, the student group organized a referendum to determine the level of student support for contraceptive distribution on campus. Indicating significant student support, the referendum was ultimately ineffective in compelling the University to act, since it has announced its decision to uphold its policy that prevents students from distributing contraceptives on campus. This decision, however, did not deter SSH from their efforts to provide free and convenient contraceptives to students.
On March 13, the organization announced on Facebook that its new student-run condom delivery service, RubberHub, would launch the following Friday. Twice a month, RubberHub will provide students with free contraceptives that can either be delivered to students’ mailboxes or retrieved by students from from an off-campus location in Chestnut Hill. Students can sign up for the service through a Google Form, posted on the group’s website and Facebook page, by noon the day prior to the delivery date. However, with a limited number of volunteers, SSH can only deliver contraceptives to 300 students in one delivery cycle. With more volunteers, the group would likely be able to distribute more condoms more efficiently.
Offering a beneficial compromise between SSH and the University, this service encourages students to practice safe sex without imposing on the Catholic values of BC, as well as students who do not support the distribution of contraceptives on campus. Due to its discrete nature, students are neither pressured by SSH nor discouraged by the University to participate in RubberHub. The free service is a reasonable compromise between SSH and the University: it is not associated with BC nor does it publicly distribute contraceptives on campus, and it equips interested students with the means to practice safe sex. Because RubberHub is completely student-run, it mimics the 1993 “BC condom,” which was sold door to door in dorms by a single student—SSH, however, appropriately avoids affiliating this effort with the University. While the student group has distributed and will continue to distribute condoms every two weeks from alternating public locations near campus, RubberHub offers students a free, discreet service that doesn’t pressure students who aren’t interested. Moreover, it is a pragmatic solution to students’ interest in receiving contraceptives and the University’s Jesuit Catholic values.
Featured Graphic by Nicole Chan / Graphics Editor