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This week, under the category of “news that made me say WTF!” was this little story about students at Georgetown University taping their mouths and chaining themselves to a statue in front of the school in protest of the fact the Georgetown doesn’t provide or help to provide contraceptive options like condoms to it’s students. The school, a private Catholic university stands by the religious policies of the Catholic church under which it was founded and refuses to provide any contraception that prevents the creation of life. Let the debate begin!
OK, let’s go ahead and get this out before the NYC-liberal-arts-student part of me literally explodes – SERIOUSLY! Are you freakin’ kidding me?! Georgetown, a major university, which does not require it’s students to follow Catholic doctrine, is still, in this day and age, refusing to hand out condoms!? Are you gonna provide daycare, Georgetown?
Ah, I feel better now.
But honestly, there are a lot of good reasons why Georgetown should step up and help with the sexual health of it’s students. To begin with, Georgetown is located in Washington D.C. where officials have declared a citywide HIV/AIDS epidemic. That means that, completely outside of the pregnancy prevention argument, Georgetown is refusing to help it’s students protect themselves from devastating, life-changing illness. And yes, students at GU could just go around the corner to the drugstore and buy their own condoms, but as many many schools have found out, it’s a lot harder to get students to do that (when you’re this close to getting it on in your dorm, that CVS might as well be China).
And this isn’t just a Georgetown issue, students at religious universities all over the country encounter these same things – last year, a student at Stonehill College collected free condoms from family-planning clinics and distributed them at school. Stonehill’s administration found out and went around confiscating them from would-be sexy-timers.
And yet, though it goes against all of my personal sexual beliefs, I do have to defend Georgetown’s choices too. It is a private, religious school. They don’t make any qualms about their beliefs or that the school itself upholds those ideas – if people choose to go there anyway, then they have to accept that the school won’t violate it’s principles for them. The university, all private religious schools, and the students there who do follow those doctrines have a right to their beliefs and to force them to do otherwise would be wrong. To fund and staff a school organization aimed at providing contraception would cost money, and by that virtue, take money away from it’s staff and students. While some of those students would benefit from that organization, there are also those who would not want to use them and isn’t it unfair then that their tuition money would be spent on something they can’t use – essentially wasting it for them? If students choose to have sex, shouldn’t they at least be adult enough to remember to make a drugstore run before the big date?
OK, so it’s thoughts and opinions time! Should religious universities like Georgetown buck up and get with the times? Should they at least be obligated to give their students options? Or should the students just accept that there are certain things that go along with the schools they’ve picked and make their own arrangements?
Let’s hear it!