When I arrived at Mercyhurst College as a freshman in 2008, I had no idea what to expect in regards to its Catholic affiliation.
I soon learned that the school had implemented a visitation policy for the freshman area. I became used to the policy as it only lasts through freshman year. I did find that it served no true importance other than to make the school seem like it was following Catholic tradition.
We all know that there is a lot you can do to entertain your guest of the opposite sex between 8 a.m. and midnight. So for me, the visitation policy is not the issue, because if that’s what Mercyhurst has to do to make it feel Catholic, so be it.
The issue I have, however, arises when you are ready to “entertain” your guest during these established times and you find yourself unequipped with protection. As a Catholic institution, Mercyhurst does not provide free condoms at its health center or in its residence halls, and it does not provide STD testing. This is an issue for me, seeing as our recent pope has come clean in stating that condoms are good for protecting women from getting HIV/AIDS.
Hiding behind a Catholic veil is not a proper argument for putting its student population at the risk of transmitting an STD and then not having the ability to find out if you even have one.
Mercyhurst must be unaware of the Vatican’s new opinion on condom usage. In an article published by the New York Daily News on Nov. 23, 2010, the Vatican clarified “using a condom is a less evil than transmitting HIV to a sexual partner even it means a woman could avoid a possible pregnancy.”
Personally, I don’t believe providing free condoms in residences would be that big of a deal and wouldn’t be a violation of any Catholic tradition, especially since we are not all Catholic on this campus.
On the other hand, we must not degrade sexuality in this argument. We must be responsible young adults and realize that sex is the highest expression of love. I say this knowing that as young adults we might not comprehend the understanding of true love quite yet and may make mistakes and some of us may have sex before we are ready.
Hopefully Mercyhurst will realize it’s 2011 and protection is very important these days, especially as college students.
Let the Lakers lead the way of a new Catholic generation that uses condoms.