By: Quincy Fuehne
One Student Government Association senator brought up a new proposal idea at a meeting on October 19 that goes against the university’s religious beliefs.
Senator Kayla Cheney proposed making condoms readily available for students in residence halls or in the walk-in clinic on campus.
“It’s a health prevention sort of thing,” senator Jack Waddell said during the discussion at the meeting.
While Cheney is aware the use of contraceptives goes against Catholic teaching, she notices that other universities offer this to their students.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill website provides information on the safe sex supplies that it offers to students for free. It also has instructions on how to use external and internal condoms and tips on how students can have safer intercourse.
UNC also has a request form that students can fill out to order lube packets, condoms or dental dams. The request form also asks if the person requesting the form would like any additional information like brochures.
Other universities, like Michigan State University, also offer this service.
UNC is a public institution that is not affiliated with a religion, while QU is a private, Catholic institution.
“The Catechism of the Catholic Church” discusses how people should practice chastity before marriage and provides reference to the Bible. According to dictionary.com chaste is defined as “refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion; virtuous”.
It also discusses its belief against birth control of any sort besides abstinence (chastity). When a couple is married, the Catholic Church believes the couple should practice natural family planning.
Currently, the QU walk-in clinic does not offer condoms or other contraceptives. However, they do offer STD testing and pregnancy testing.
The walk-in clinic, located in Friars’ Hall room 113, is free to all students and staff. Prescriptions and other lab testing, such as STD or pregnancy testing will be billed to the student’s insurance. Some students may be apprehensive about getting testing done because many are on their parent’s insurance and the lab will show up on the bill, explained Heather Leindecker, who is a family nurse practitioner who works in the campus clinic.
“Unfortunately we live in a time where not everybody is progressive in thinking when it comes to these types of things. I think we need to be supportive and understand that these things are happening,” Leindecker expressed.
The clinic does not offer condoms at this time due to the expense that comes with them and the contract between QU and Quincy Medical Group.
“Quincy University would have to decide that it was okay within that contract for them to purchase them (condoms) and provide them,” Leindecker said.
Leindecker says that she would support offering condoms to students.
While she is a Catholic and supports the church’s belief, she says she has to make decisions not based on belief, but on what is best for the students.
“What I am here to do is to support the kids and we are here to offer services that they need. The reality of the situation is that kids in college are having intercourse and I’m more interested in preventing STD’s, preventing unplanned pregnancies, safe sex and things like that versus continuing to impede that type of thing,” Leindecker expressed.
This is Leindecker’s second year as the provider at QU. She says the university and QMG have been very supportive of her on all of her decisions so far, including offering STD and pregnancy testing.
SGA members present at the meeting considered who would sponsor the condoms if the proposal got passed.
SGA will not be able to implement this proposal until it is approved by the Board of Trustees and voted on by the student senate.