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Conscience Magazine

Outpouring of Support for Student Group that Distributes Condoms

September 16, 2013

In March 2013, Boston College Students for Sexual Health, an unofficial student group, was asked by the college administration to cease the distribution of condoms and STI information on campus, which the group has provided for four years. “The distribution of condoms is not congruent with our values and traditions,” read a letter signed by Paul J. Chebator, the dean of students, and George Arey, the director of residential life, according to the New York Times. The letter threatened any students handing out condoms on campus with “disciplinary action.”

Lizzie Jekanowski, chairwoman of the group, said that the students pass out approximately 5,000 condoms each semester, an activity that constituted “lawful and constitutionally protected activity,” according to Carol Rose, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts, which is prepared to take legal action on the students’ behalf, NBC News reported. Some professors have also sided with the students, such as history professor James O’Toole, who enumerated other debates for the Boston College Chronicle and said Catholic college campuses were places where the “views of lay people on compelling issues of the day can or should be taken into account.”