Persistent Duquesne condom myths debunked

Courtesy of Pixabay  Contrary to popular rumors, sex, condoms and other contraceptives are allowed.

Courtesy of Pixabay

Contrary to popular rumors, sex, condoms and other contraceptives are allowed.

Raymond Arke | Staff Writer

It’s time to unwrap the rumors and roll out the facts — condoms are allowed on campus.

According to interviews conducted by The Duke, many students are under the impression that condoms are prohibited by Duquesne and possession of them can result in a fine. However, that is not the case.

There is no mention of condoms in the Duquesne student handbook. Rose Ravasio, a Duquesne spokeswoman, said there is “no truth” to the rumors.

Christopher Foye, a senior international relations major, spent two years as a freshman resident assistant in Assumption Hall.

“I’ve heard the rumor before,” Foye said. He reiterated the only substances banned by University bylaws are “drugs and alcohol.”

Aaron Thomas, a senior physician assistant major is the RA for the ninth floor of Towers. He finds the rumor laughable.

“I have to say that it’s just hilarious that this rumor goes around every single year,” Thomas said.

He added that Duquesne is a bit different than other Catholic universities.

“There’s no ban on sex here, either,” he said, even though a tenet of Catholicism is abstinence until marriage.

“At Duquesne we do not reprimand those who do not follow every Catholic teaching, since our Mission Statement focuses on diversity,” Thomas said.

The Duquesne student handbook confirms this — there is no mention of a policy against sex.

Anne Sawa, director of student conduct at Duquesne, describes the rumors as “an urban legend.” She also said how Duquesne does not prohibit sex.

“If people are engaged in that, hopefully they are taking precautions to be safe,” she said.

Sawa said Duquesne doesn’t provide condoms in any way, because “we don’t promote pre-marital sex.” She wants people to be reminded that this is a Catholic university and that abstinence until marriage is a core Catholic tradition.

Duquesne’s policy on condoms and sex is an outlier compared to other Catholic institutions, such as Notre Dame. According to their student handbook, “Sex requires a commitment to a total living and sharing together of two persons in marriage … students who engage in sexual union outside of marriage may be subject to referral to the University Conduct Process.”

Other secular universities in Pittsburgh are much more open when it comes distributing and promoting the use of condoms.

Sarah Gutekunst, a student at Carnegie Mellon University and a reporter for their student newspaper, The Tartan, said that the university has a upfront policy towards the items.

“We have a program called Free Condom Friday,” Gutekunst said. “Our Peer Health Advocate program run by University Health Services [hands] out male and female condoms as well as lube on the first Friday of each month.”

Tyler Bechtel, a student at Pitt, explained the university holds similar policies as CMU.

“My friend who was an RA got a literal trash bag full of condoms from the school to have available for residents,” he said.

Other large schools like the University of Southern California encourage the use of condoms.

Tyler Waterman, a student there, has seen firsthand USC awareness efforts.

He said “At USC every RA has a bucket of [condoms] outside of their door, and you can also get them for free at the health center.”

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