Boston College has warned students to stop distributing condoms to classmates. Dean of Students Paul Chebator and Director of Residence Life George Arey have threatened students with disciplinary action if they are caught handing out condoms on campus.
The warning letter was sent out on March 15 in response to students who have been using their dorm room as “Safe Sites.” The Safe Sites have been distributing condoms and educational materials about sexual health and safe sex since 2009.
As reported by NBC News, Boston College is designated as a Catholic institution, and administration has stated that the handing out condoms “is not congruent with [the school’s] values and traditions.”
Students belonging to the Boston College Students for Sexual Health group were stunned by the sudden reaction to their activities. Although the group is not an official organization recognized by the college, their activities have been tolerated thus far.
Although school officials have expressed disapproval, this is the first time Boston College has actually warned the students to stop distributing the condoms. The threat of disciplinary action has caught the attention of the ACLU and the Boston College chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
As reported by Boston.com, the professors have issued a statement in defense of the student group. The association acknowledges the college’s right to refuse condom distribution in college health clinics. However, they criticize the college’s threat against students who distribute condoms “in the privacy of their dorm rooms.”
They point out that the health and well-being of the students should be a priority. They acknowledge that, although Boston College is a Catholic institution, the students have diverse of religious backgrounds and beliefs.
The association has offered to meet with students, administration, and the Catholic community in an attempt to resolve the issue
As it stands, Boston College has warned the students to stop distributing condoms or they will be “referred to the student conduct office for disciplinary action by the university.”