Condom display revised after complaints

By Megan Knowles

The National Condom Week display in the Holmes Student Center was changed after some Student Association executives expressed concern.

SA President Preston Came and SA Senate Speaker Michael Starzec said they felt the display might be offensive to some students.

“Mike and I had several complaints from students who thought that the display was in poor taste, being that there was a Housing Bazaar going on and also student orientation going on at the same time,” Came said.

Michael Haines, coordinator of Health Enhancement Services, said the concerns were specifically about a video shown at the resource center where a man was explicitly demonstrating how petroleum-based lubricants can destroy a condom and a display of certain types of lubricants. Also, they were concerned by helium-filled condoms in the display.

“Despite the fact that the HSC is seen as a huge phallic symbol, we felt we have to draw the line at flavored lubricants,” Starzec said.

Came and Starzec said they brought this to the attention of Haines, who agreed with them and removed the questionable items.

“There are sound health reasons for doing the things that were done that provided the offense to Preston and Michael,” Haines said.

However, Haines said the solution they reached was a “win-win solution. It seemed as if we could accommodate their concerns without really impairing the project at all,” he said.

Haines said he saw National Condom Week as an opportunity to continue to get the safe sex message across campus and that was the purpose of the display.

“I don’t think they (Came and Starzec) were trying to say that they have a moral, religious, or political agenda that they were trying to foist upon us,” Haines said.

“Anytime we get into the very private and personal value-laden territory of sex behavior, there’s going to be people who are offended. That goes with the territory,” he added.

Haines said the display was modified Wednesday.