David Frum

03.28.13

Sexual Protest: How Boston College Students are Fighting Their School

A network of Boston College students who run a condom distribution network out of their dorm rooms may face disciplinary action for breaking the school’s policy on contraceptives. Because of Boston College’s association with the Catholic Church and the Jesuits, the school abides by Church teachings that forbid the use of contraceptives.

As a result of this apparent conflict of interest, BC’s administration is threatening those who are living in these dorm room, called “Safe Sites.” In a statement emailed to all students on Tuesday, BC spokesperson, Jack Dunn, discussed why this program must stop.

“As a Jesuit, Catholic University, there are certain Catholic commitments that Boston College is called to uphold. We ask our students to respect these commitments, particularly as they pertain to Catholic social teaching on the sanctity of life,” Dunn wrote in the statement. “We recognize that, as a reflection of society at large, many students do not agree with the Church’s position on these issues. However, we ask those who do not agree to be respectful of our position, and circumspect in their private affairs.”

He also wrote that he hopes the students will “accept our offer to meet with administrators and members of the Jesuit community to discuss this issue in a respectful, constructive format.”

However, the students involved with “Safe Sites” seem to have support across campus.

The Boston College chapter of the American Association of University Professors released their own statement:

“While it is the university’s right to distribute or not distribute contraceptives through the student health center, we believe that taking disciplinary action against students for lawful actions undertaken in the privacy of their dorm rooms constitutes an infringement of their rights,” the chapter said in a statement. “The issues regarding sexual health raised by BCSSH are important to the welfare of our students who come from a variety of faith traditions; taking disciplinary action against them on such matters of individual conscience sends the wrong message to the campus community, alumni, and prospective students.”