Boston College officials have threatened to take disciplinary action against students who distribute free condoms through a campus network of dormitory rooms and other locations, saying that the practice contradicts the institution’s Jesuit mission, according to The Boston Globe.
In a letter this month, campus officials demanded an end to student-run “Safe Sites,” where contraceptives and safe-sex information are distributed. The letter, signed by the college’s dean of students and its director of residence life, said the practice violated a “responsibility to protect the values and traditions of Boston College as a Jesuit, Catholic institution,” the newspaper reported.
The letter went on to warn the students that although they may not be violating the college’s rules intentionally, the matter “would be referred to the student-conduct office for disciplinary action” if officials received reports that condoms were being distributed on the campus. A student who leads a sexual-health group on the campus told the newspaper her group was “very disappointed” that the administrators did not contact them beforehand. The group previously had a positive relationship with the administration, she said.
A college spokesman said in a written statement cited by the newspaper that students know distributing condoms violates the institution’s rules and that the college asks them to respect its commitment to Roman Catholic teachings.
“We recognize that, as a reflection of society at large, many students do not agree with the church’s position on these issues,” he added. “However, we ask those who do not agree to be respectful of our position and circumspect in their private affairs.” He said he hoped the students would accept an offer to meet with administrators to discuss the matter.
A representative of the ACLU of Massachusetts told the newspaper that she planned to take legal action if the college did not reconsider its threat.
Update (3/27/2013, 9:33 p.m.): The campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors issued a statement condemning the college’s threat to discipline students for distributing condoms.