BC warns students to stop distributing contraceptives

BOSTON -- Boston College says students are violating the university's code of conduct by giving out contraceptives in their dorms.

The group, BC Students for Sexual Health (BCSSH), began enlisting students to distribute condoms, lubricants and other contraceptives in their dorm rooms as early as the fall 2010 semester through their website.

The university sent the organization a letter in March asking that the student-run group stop distributing contraception in dorm rooms, at so-called "safe sites."

BCSSH was organized in 2009 during a campus student referendum that voted "to improve sexual health education and resources on campus" according to their website.

Officials at Boston College maintain that students at the university sign a contract agreeing to abide by the university's code of conduct when they move into the dorms, and the students violated the agreement by giving out contraceptives in their dorm rooms.

A statement released by Boston College said, "As a Jesuit, Catholic university there are certain Catholic commitments that Boston College, and all Catholic colleges and universities, are called to uphold. We ask those who choose to attend our university to be respectful of these commitments and the values upon which they are based."

School officials said a meeting between the student-run organization and school administrators was to take place at the end of April to address the dispute.

"Our hope moving forward is that in meeting with BC administrators in the coming days, all involved can articulate their viewpoints in an open and respectful manner," the statement said.

However, the statement also reaffirmed an assertion in the March letter that the school intended to enforce the code of conduct.

"If the students persist in violating the university's code of conduct, however, they will face disciplinary sanctions in accordance with university policies," it said.

The local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union said that they support the student-run organization.

"The ACLU of Massachusetts believes that Boston College is violating the rights of students by threatening them with discipline because these students provide sexual health information and condoms from their 'safe space' dorm rooms. The College does not have a religious freedom to impose its doctrines on students at the college, because the College is not a seminary," a statement on their website said.