The students, who argued that they were distributing the materials on public property, went to Newton officials and found the documents they needed to support their right to distribute their materials along the public sidewalk. Scott Jelinek said that the volunteers who distributed condoms on Friday were supplied with the documents they would need if their rights were challenged. "We made sure that all of our volunteers knew their legal rights," he said.
Jelinek said that the response from students, especially freshmen, was very positive.
"One of the things we wanted to do was normalize the presence of condoms on campus,"he said. Some freshmen expressed an interest in becoming more involved in sexual health activism on campus, and Jelinek said that some of them were surprised to find that the kind of services SSH is working for were not available on campus. "We're looking forward to working with the freshman class," he said.
Confrontational interactions with students were few, Jelinek said. "Mostly people were thanking us for providing this resource, apart from few negative responses," he said. Students speak to their friends at other schools, including some Jesuit universities, he said, and wonder why similar resources are not available at BC.
SSH came about in response to a referendum on last year's UGBC ballot, in which 89.47 percent of student voters expressed a desire for the University to take a more proactive stance in addressing issues of sexual health. Jelinek said that students have been working with Vice President for Student Affairs Patrick Rombalski, who brought in a medical consulting firm that met with students and asked them how health services could be improved in regard to sexual health.
Link (here) to The Heights a BC student newspaper
Photo is of Scott Jelinick
The Church's teaching on birth control (here)