[Jesuit] BC Students Petition for Contraception on Campus, Take Inspiration from Gay Activists
Generation Fluke is on the rise. And they’re gathering signatures.
Students at Boston College have reportedly begun a petition demanding that the health center on campus distribute contraceptives.
The Boston College Students for Sexual Health (BCSSH), which is not recognized as a campus organization, is kicking off a year-long effort to accrue signatures from students which they plan to present to the administration at the end of the academic year. In just a few days, they already have more than 300 signatures.
Don Orr, vice chair of BCSSH, told the student newspaper why he thought this change was needed. “The petition just seems to make logical sense,” Orr reportedly said. “How do you prevent unplanned pregnancies and STDs and STIs? You give people resources so that if they choose to be sexually active they can prevent them, and have the sexual counseling to decide what they want to do.”
In response to the petition, University spokesman Jack Dunn said, “As a Jesuit, Catholic University, there are certain Catholic commitments that we are called to uphold. We ask our students to be respectful of these commitments—even if they do not agree with them.”
Rev. Anthony Penna, director of campus ministry, reportedly urged dialogue on the issue, saying, “At Boston College, offices like Campus Ministry remain pastorally committed to dialogue about sexuality as one of God’s profound gifts to the human person and the responsibility we share in understanding and nurturing this gift, not only for our own well-being, but for the well-being of the whole community, as well.”
But Lizzie Jekanowski, chair of BCSSH, countered by saying,“The administration has the official party line that we are a Jesuit, Catholic school and somehow that is mutually exclusive of meeting all of students’ health needs,” Jekanowski said. “That is not the case. The students that go here, some of them are Catholic, some of them are not. Of those who are Catholic, some make choices that align with the Church’s official stance on these issues, and some don’t.”
Students admitted that they did not expect the administration to implement BCSSH’s demands immediately. “It’s an inch by inch process,” said one student.
Jekanowski said BCSSH takes its inspiration from gay students on campus who agitated for the GLBTQ Leadership Council and eventually received recognition and funds from the administration. “If students speak up and make this an issue, things will change. We point to the creation of GLC a lot, because that happened because students caused an uproar. What we’re starting here is the beginning of an uproar.”