Free Condoms For Students

In the beginning weeks of March, the Student Senate here at Montgomery College placed bowls of free condoms in various bathrooms around the Rockville campus. On these bowls read “Abstinence is key, but just in case” as a simple message to those who’d take the condoms for themselves.

A supply of condoms was originally donated to The Student Senate by the teachers in the Health and P.E. department, essentially to find something to do with it. The Student Senate decided to simply place them around bathrooms; the only permission they needed to ask for was from Mary Siera, the Student Life Director.

Complaints came into Student Life about the free condoms. Some said it might broadcast the wrong message on behalf of the school, others mentioned it offended their religion.

Student Juanita Benavides criticized its placement after the Rockville High School rape case. “In the bathroom, it’s sketch, especially after the rape in the Rockville High School. It could almost be a ‘welcome’ for people to have sex in the bathroom.” On that same topic, student Maggie Luzon offered a counterargument. “They respect people’s privacy; the bathroom is still a better place than the front door.”

“The school isn’t a religious school,” Student Senate member Lauryn Fanguen said in response to these comments. “You don’t have to pick it up if you don’t want to. We’re not promoting sex, we’re just saying people have sex and they should at the very least have safe sex.”

Unbeknownst to many students, condoms are actually offered for free in the Nurse’s office for students. It’s become an increasingly common form of provision in colleges and universities around the country, provided by health awareness organizations and departments like the Health and P.E. department that offered them in this case.

Nonetheless, The Student Senate also received backlash for their execution in planning the distribution in whole. The Student Senate has said that they will likely not be doing this again.