Health services ups free condom distribution
By Anna Frey
Dawson girls have been snatching up the condoms from the free dispenser in the 2D washroom over the past week and a half.
“It gets filled with about 150 condoms, and they’re all gone in a day and a half,” Genevieve McCready, the Health Education Nurse at Dawson, and innovator of this idea, said. “It’s always being used.”
Health Services has always been handing out free condoms in their office, with last year’s distribution totalling an estimated 7,000 contraceptives. However popular these free tools already are, McCready believes that the installation of the dispenser in the washrooms will encourage more students to pick some up.“People are shy, but the basket is right by the door so they don’t have to really see anyone.”
Another issue she was concerned with was the lack of attention paid to the night students. “Our doors close at 4 p.m. so they don’t have the chance to visit. The availability in the washrooms will help them.”
Matthew Mancini, DSU Communication Director believes that the school does a good job of promoting the use of contraceptives. “I am a big proponent of safe sex,” he stated. “I think the school does a lot to promote safe sex. It’s a really important thing to make people aware of, and Dawson does it well.”
Though Mancini supports the College’s efforts, he does believe that birth control, in the end, is a personal choice. “It’s one thing to promote healthy practices, but these kinds of decisions are ultimately up to the individual.”
“I go for free condoms,” first semester Social Sciences student, Melissa Rogers, said. “They give out Trojan, which are expensive to buy in stores.”
Health Services does get sponsored for condoms, which McCready said brings in about 3,000 free contraceptives per year. “But to keep the washrooms stocked all year round it would cost us nearly $6,000. We don’t have that kind of budget.”
The dispenser itself was built by a Dawson employee from Plant and Facilities, because nothing of the sort could be found on the market.
Only one machine is currently on campus, but McCready hopes to get another installed in the men’s washroom soon. “It was not my decision to put it in the women’s, I think men would take more than women,” she stated, going on to explain that there is less of a stigma attached with men collecting condoms than women.
“We haven’t gotten any complaints about this project,” she said. “At least, not yet.”