By Avery Kelly
Across campus, supplies of a different nature are being offered amongst vending machines’ standard rows of chips and candy. As part of an administrative effort to create an environment conducive to safe and healthy sexual relationships, Sewanee’s vending machines are now selling condoms. On campus, condoms and information about safe sex are always available without charge at Health Services and the Bairnwick Women’s Center. However, now students will have broader access to safe sex resources, with vending machine condoms offered throughout the University’s grounds in packs of two for $2.
According to Dean of Students Eric Hartman, the basis for the project is simple: “How do we empower students to take responsibility for their own (sexual) health in a way that meets their needs? Answer: swap a high caloric, high sugar food item for a similarly priced invaluable device that can prevent life threatening infections and life altering events. It’s a win–win.”
Dean Hartman added that the University would be interested in adding other personal items for students to purchase in vending machines in the future, but for now the goal is to start with providing condoms.
Director of Business Services Rich Berlin is working with Sewanee’s vending company to begin stocking machines with condoms. According to the vending company, lubricated Playboy condoms in packs of two will be added to machines in Courts, Humphreys, St. Luke’s, Benedict, Johnson, Hodgson, Tuckaway, Quintard, Gorgas, Elliot, and McCrady. If the first order comes through on time, all of these dorms should be stocked by Friday, November 15, at the latest.
Ensuring that students have access to safe sex resources by being able to purchase condoms on campus is another step forward in the University’s campaign to promote better sexual relationships on campus. This project is one of several different initiatives, including the University’s revision of sexual assault policies, to help ensure that sexual encounters on campus are safe, healthy, and consensual.
In light of this project and rethinking sexual health on campus in general, remember that Sewanee has a Sexual Assault Crisis Response Team this year that is available for students 24 hours a day. Call (931)636-4887 for assistance and they will call you right back.