Today, H*yas for Choice took a positive step forward by establishing a new condom delivery service on campus. The program will let students request condoms and pamphlets to distribute at parties and other social events.
With the introduction of this service, H*yas for Choice continues to push Georgetown toward addressing the sexual health needs of students. As of Aug. 15 the University altered its insurance plan to in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act. Policyholders may receive prescriptions for contraception from the Student Health Center. Contraception must be paid for separately by the insurance company, outside of Georgetown’s group health plan.
Although this change is progress, it was ultimately forced. Students still cannot obtain contraception anywhere on campus, including the Student Health Center. H*yas for Choice is the only group on the Hilltop that provides condoms to students.
In light of Georgetown’s continued refusal to promote contraception as a method of safe sex, the presence of H*yas for Choice on campus is invaluable to the promotion of safe sexual practices among the student body. Furthermore, this service will increase student access to contraception on campus, thereby empowering students to choose to engage in responsible sex.
Conservative student organizations fear that the presence of condoms at parties may contribute to increased pressure to have sex at parties and higher rates of sexual assault. However, given the fact that this initiative is unprecedented at Georgetown, these concerns are purely speculative. Moving forward, H*yas for Choice must remain cognizant of the effects of the delivery service and be willing to make appropriate adjustments if it hurts student safety.
Sexual assault is a result of a combination of factors such as alcohol, drugs, lack of respect for the victim, and an internalized rape culture. It would be foolish to assume the mere presence of condoms at parties would incite incidents of sexual assault.In fact, there is no reason to believe that enhanced, easy access to contraceptives could endanger any students in any way. Critiques of the program stem more from anxiety about human sexua;ity than from concerns for safety.
By providing a condom delivery service to parties, H*yas for Choice is honoring its purpose as an organization by making contraception available to students and educating students about safe sexual practices. The condom delivery service is progress for Georgetown, and will provide invaluable resources to Georgetown students who continue live in a culture that puts students’ sexual health at risk.