Sexual Misconduct and Assault Resource Team (SMART) is a student led organization which is now providing free condoms to all the RA offices on campus for students.
According to the Journal of American College Health, the United States sees more than 15 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) occur annually. Wartburg, however, is trying to change this statistic.
Maddie Simmons is the president of SMART and gave a little about the history of SMART’s decision to give out condoms.
“Last year we did table and handed out condoms as prizes to those who won at ‘sex jeopardy,’ but this will be the first time SMART has offered condoms like this,” Simmons said.
Condoms are offered to all students who live on campus. Students can pick them up in any RA office during office hours.
Simmons also offered advice for students who may feel embarrassed asking their RA for condoms.
“I’d say always remember asking for condoms is no big deal. No one is going to judge you for making sure you and your partner are healthy and protected,” Simmons said.
Simmons knows this is already easier said than done. She suggested if a student is embarrassed, they should visit the office at a low-traffic time or have a friend go with them.
Even though this is SMART’s first year organizing a campus-wide free condom program, Simmons hopes to continue this program into the school years to come.
“This is a free condom – it comes at no cost to the school or to the students utilizing it. It just makes sense to continue with it.”
Simmons knows students will have sex even if they are not provided with free condoms, which is why she believes this program is so important. She also knows providing free condoms can create an easier way for everyone to be responsible with himself or herself and their partner.
“We’re at a time in our lives when we should be exploring sex and sexuality and figuring ourselves out. Sex is a natural part of life and I truly believe we should be doing everything we can to ensure that sex is healthy and enjoyable for all parties.”
In the survey by the Journal of American College Health, 52 percent of the colleges surveyed made condoms available to students.
While Wartburg was not a part of this study, Simmons still wished this number was at 100 percent.
“Denying college students access to contraceptives isn’t going to stop them from having sex, it just means students will either have to spend their own money on often expensive condoms or that some will go without condoms entirely,” Simmons said.
“It just doesn’t make any sense to put yourself at risk when condoms are available right down the hall.”