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ISSUE 118 VOL 3 PUBLISHED 10/1/2004

Condom availability resources unknown

By Sara Perelli-Minetti
Contributing Writer

Friday, October 1, 2004

Condom dispensers were installed over spring break last year, without any formal announcement to students as to their location.

Only one machine was placed in the utility room of each hall.

Last spring, students were surprised with the sudden appearance of the dispensers.

"It was as if the condom machines came out of nowhere, Kaitlin Gemar '07 said. Our JCs never mentioned it; I lived on the fourth floor and the condoms were on the second floor so I never really would have seen them if I didnt hear about it from girls on the second floor."

Some students, like Emily Koeppen '05, were not even aware that the machines were finally installed.

"I think theyre an awesome idea; public health is so important, she said. I couldnt find condoms my freshman year."

Some students, however, are not as happy.

Now alerted to the presence of the machines, Hannah Wallisch 07 sees them as a "tacky" addition to the utility rooms.

"Its like were a gas station bathroom," Wallisch said.

The utility rooms in the residence halls are not the only place to find condoms. They are also sold in the bookstore for $1.89 per pack of three.

Students have expressed hesitancy to make use of this option, citing the risk of running into other students.

A little known place to find condoms is the newly located and renovated Wellness Center.

Formerly housed in the administration building, the Wellness Center is now in the hallway parallel to the P.O. boxes, near Student Activities offices.

The Wellness Center has always offered unlimited free condoms to students, something of which many students are unaware, according to Claire Leake 07, a Healthy Lifestyles Assistant.

Leake explained that the office is now completely studentrun, after having lost their faculty advisor due to budget cuts this summer.

"We only settled in a week ago," Leake said. "Its been hard to make students aware of where we are now."

Although free condoms from the Wellness Center are an option, several students expressed discomfort at the idea of taking them in front of other students.

Koeppen, for example, said that she would be too embarrassed to go into the Wellness Center.

"It would be great if they were outside the door or something," she said.

Despite the hesitations of some, there are many, such as Rachel Nesvig 07, who say completely comfortable going to the Wellness Center for condoms.

Leake said that several RAs have come into the Wellness Center and stocked up on condoms for their residents, although Dan Honl 05, an RA in Larson Hall, said that providing condoms for residents "was never mentioned in our training."

Some students feel that, despite the work that went into installing the machines, students do not use them.

"I kind of assume that anyone who needs condoms already has them," Andrew Goudzwaard 07 said.

Though all three locations are not publically known for condom distribution, students can get condoms at the Bookstore, the Wellness Center or their residence halls.

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