Target: William P. Leahy, President of Boston College
Goal: Allow students to promote safe sex practices on campus.
In 2009 Boston College students began a “condom campaign” as part of the college group Boston College Students for Sexual Health. The unofficial student group’s intention was to promote safe sex practices and to facilitate safe sex practices among Boston College students by providing free contraception in the form of condoms. The students labeled their dorm rooms “Safe Sites”: places where students could go to receive free condoms and sexual health information.
Boston College administration, however, recently threatened to take action against Boston College Students for Sexual Health, and any other students involved in the distribution of condoms. Students received an email from the Dean and the Director of Residence Life, stating, “The distribution of condoms is not congruent with our values and traditions. […] 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.”
Lizzie Jekanowski, chair of Boston College Students for Sexual Health, was shocked by the email, stating that the group had enjoyed a pleasant relationship with college administration over the past few years. School officials maintain that Boston College is a private religious institution with the right to set and enforce rules as it sees fit. However, Sarah Wunsch, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, stated that while the college has a right to inform students of the Catholic views of the school, it does not have the right to dictate student actions under such rules. Sexual health, in particular, is a necessary part of education, and the availability of information increases student safety. Sign the petition below to condemn Boston College for attempting to force its religious ideals onto its students.
Dear William P. Leahy,
Recently, Boston College officials warned the unofficial student group, Boston College Students for Sexual Health, that it was violating the college mission statement by promoting safe sex practices and distributing contraception on campus. The student organization has existed since 2009 and has been necessary to student education on campus, not only by providing information, but by facilitating the practice of safe, healthy sexual practices. While Boston College, as a Catholic institution, has the right to maintain its own religious beliefs and to inform students of these beliefs, it should not have a right to force such religious views on its students.
I am writing today to condemn Boston College for attempting to force its religious ideals onto its students, and to demand that students be allowed to promote safe sex practices on campus.
[Your Name Here]
Image Credit: robertelyov via Flickr