Boston College Threatens Disciplinary Action Against Students Passing Out Condoms

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A Catholic school in Boston has threatened to punish students for passing out free condoms in their dorm rooms as it violates the university's religious values.

Boston College officials sent a letter on March 15 telling students to stop running "Safe Sites," which is a network of dorm rooms and other areas where students can receive free contraceptives and safe-sex information.

Lizzie Jekanowski, chairwoman of the college's Students for Sexual Health, said that the school has always known about the condom distribution but had not done anything about it until now.

They did not speak to them before they threatened disciplinary action.

"We were very disappointed that the signatories of the letter never contacted us beforehand," she said. "We've had a very open relationship, and it's been very positive. This letter was very war-mongering and threatening."

A lawyer at American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts said the college might be violating student rights. They are prepared to take legal action.

The school is mainly upset because they claim the students are disregarding their "responsibility to protect the values and traditions of Boston College as a Jesuit, Catholic institution."

In the letter, they said, "While we understand that you may not be intentionally violating university policy, we do need to advice 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."

This isn't the first time a university has threatened disciplinary action on student's passing out condoms. In 2009, a similar case popped up in Stonehill College in the UK after hundreds of free condoms were placed in dorms.

In the same year, Boston College students passed a referendum pressuring the college to offer affordable testing for sexually transmitted diseases and contraception.

The Students for Sexual Health group said they received their contraception from outside groups.

Advocates for Youth, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit, provides $400 worth of contraceptives to the group each semester.

They also received 1,000 to 1,500 condoms each semester from the Great American Condom Campaign.

"Students shouldn't have to choose between holistic health care and a world class institution," Jekanowski said.

Sources: Daily Mail, Boston Globe