Seton Hall University, Boston College, and St. John’s University were all part of the bottom 20 schools out of the 141 schools surveyed.
Fairfield University was not even on the annual ranking.
Trojan says that this assessment is about “celebrating positive sexual health and the campuses that empower it.”
The universities and colleges are ranked on categories such as the student opinion of the health center, contraception availability-free or at cost, HIV/STI testing on or off campus, lecture programs about sexual health, and student peer groups.
Fairfield provides a means of public safety and alcohol awareness, but sex safety is nowhere to be found at 1073 North Benson Rd.
Although people all over the world are told to practice safe sex, Fairfield makes it difficult to endorse such an activity. It’s a constant controversy on campus between the students and University policy, paired with Catholic values.
Why didn’t we make the list?
There are zero condoms available to students on campus. Fairfield students have to obtain condoms by hopping on the Stag bus to go to stores in town.
Ten students, who are to remain anonymous, say they buy them in town in places such as CVS and Stop and Shop. They also said they ask their friends in their hall for condoms when necessary.
Fairfield students are aware that there are no means of contraception available on campus. Fairfield is a Jesuit university, and due to traditional beliefs it’s hard to break away from practices that have been held onto for so long.
Harry Cintineo, a sophomore, said “I think a lot of people would use them if we had then on campus. It’s unfortunate that we don’t have them available.”
Populations across the globe are going through epidemics of sexually transmitted diseases, such as HIV. So why wouldn’t Fairfield help show students how important it is to have safe sex?
Why doesn’t the church believe in condom use?
The Catholic Church has been debating means on contraception. Although Pope Benedict XVI announced last year that the use of condoms is appropriate at times to prevent the spread of AIDS, the overall view of Catholics still holds to tradition.
The Pontifical Commission on Birth Control defined the Church’s view of contraception as: “Every action, which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible, is intrinsically evil.”
Basically, this means the Church is against any action, such as sex, when there is no intention of procreation. Therefore, condoms should not be used because they stop a natural process, such as conceiving a child.
How does Fairfield compare to other Jesuit universities?
Catholic universities have been struggling with the issue of having condoms available at all times for students. Schools such as Boston College, Loyola University, and Georgetown are all Jesuit universities, comparable to Fairfield, and they too have concern of the issue of not having contraception available to students.
With more recent findings in the importance of using a form of contraception to prevent diseases such as AIDS, the battle with the traditional religious beliefs of pre-marital sex makes bringing condoms to Catholic campuses a controversy.
Should the Student Health Center have condoms for students?
Judith Kaechele Weindling, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) Director of the Student Health Center on campus believes that students attending Fairfield are aware of the views of the Catholic Church on the subject of birth control.
Weindling states, “Students are free to practice their own beliefs, and are encouraged to be true to their own values. They are free to look elsewhere for condoms… if you go to your doctor’s office, you do not find a bowl of condoms in the waiting room.”
She also says that the Health Center offers information on STIs, and even offer free STI testing, sponsored by the State of Connecticut.
Keep shopping in town
All in all, it does not look like Fairfield is about to change their ways.
Although the Student Health Center provides STI testing, this is a reactive practice. The STI testing could be prevented by being proactive about sexual health through the distribution of contraception on campus.
Trojan states that America lacks sexual education among college students. Americans, aged 15-24 , make up 48 percent of newly diagnosed STIs each year, and 82 percent of teen pregnancies are unplanned. Fairfield is not helping these statistics to improve.
Kelly Flynn, a sophomore nursing major, believes that condoms should definitely be available on campus. With experience in many science classes, she believes that it would be beneficial for students to have sex in a healthy way.
“People are still going to having sex, no matter what, and it’s better to provide them with a safe way of doing it, rather than having them make a mistake,” she said.