By Sarah Buop, For The Miami Student
To promote safe sex, Miami University's Beechwoods Hall is placing condoms throughout the men's and women's bathrooms, thanks to the work of the Community Leadership Team (CLT).
Michael Deal, the Advocacy Committee Chair for CLT in Beechwoods Hall, came up with the idea to go along with the "Sex in the Beech" program that was held on campus a few weeks ago.
"After receiving permission from the Resident Director - who also serves as Beechwoods' CLT director - I was provided funds to purchase condoms for the bathrooms," Deal said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases (SDTs) are diagnosed each year among people aged 15 to 24 years old. Since many of these people are college students, the Beechwoods' CLT felt it was necessary to support and provide the funding for free condoms in their residence hall bathrooms.
Beechwoods Hall resident and sophomore Laurel Wilcoxson was involved with the placement of condoms in the bathrooms.
"When the program first started, we were sent an email notifying us that they would be available in the men's restrooms only," Wilcoxson said. "I was a little frustrated with this, so I emailed the head of the program and made him aware of my stance, that they should also be available in the women's restrooms, because we, too, should be in control of our sex lives."
Originally, Deal's idea was to place condoms in the men's bathrooms only, due to monetary constraints. However, after discussions with students and the success of the condoms in the men's bathrooms, Beechwoods' CLT will be providing extra funding to place condoms in women's bathrooms beginning Nov. 1.
"I was very excited to hear this, and I think that the program now not only promotes safe sex, but also encourages the women in the dorm to take charge and realize that they don't have to rely on a man for something even as simple as a condom," Wilcoxson said.
As the school year goes on, the practice of safe sex and condom use will always be recommended for young adults. Deal said Beechwoods Hall has taken an important step in ensuring its residents have the option to avoid STDs and pregnancies, along with spreading the awareness of safe sex on campus.
"The overarching goal of this project was to increase awareness for safe sex and was part of an initiative to advocate for a healthier, safer physical environment in the residence hall," Deal said. "I believe this goal was accomplished."