by Kristen Stewart
The atmosphere was tense; you could feel the body heat lingering in the stale air as RIT students gathered in Ingle Auditorium for an enthralling debate about birth control across campus. A large poster that hung above the audience read: “In years to come, 2013 shall be known as the era of the Condom Conundrum. Help us make history and put an end to this dark age so that your children and your children’s children aren’t subjected to the same discriminatory distribution of birth control that we are suffering through.”
Universities across the nation have gone head-to-head with the United States government in an effort to keep birth control off campus. Recently, several colleges fought to keep oral contraceptives out of their respective school’s health plan and to prevent the distribution of condoms. They argue that forcing the school to provide these types of birth control is a violation of their first amendment rights (the freedom of religion, for those of you who failed fifth grade history). In all cases, the universities have religious affiliations that prompt them to fight against birth control and all the sinful, premarital sex that it inspires.
How then, you might ask, does a non-religious institution such as RIT, fit into this dispute? A look into the “Condom Conundrum” may help answer this question.
The debate began as a spokeswoman from the Center for Women and Gender praised the efforts of the tireless RAs who have, one by one, slipped condoms under the doors of their residents’ rooms. In a riveting speech, Loraine Craig, resident assistant for Gleason Hall said, “Look, I was just doing my job. I’m not particularly concerned about the ‘sexual health’ of my residents. Although it’s highly unlikely, one of them might eventually get laid and I don’t want them knocking down my door at all hours of the night asking if they can ‘borrow a condom real quick.” Real quick, indeed.
The debate heated up as scrawny first year Computer Science major J.J. Johnson cried, “The condom distribution effort is an embarrassing, shameful way to attack the men on the RIT campus.” His debate partner, Woody Smith, first year Mechanical Engineering major, agreed and passionately added the following: “I remember so much about those first, horrible moments after the condom distribution. I can still see those condoms and the way they crept under the crack of the door, staring up at me almost mockingly as if to say, ‘Yeah, like you’ll ever need me.’ For me, and for thousands of unshowered, unshaven, Cheeto-encrusted RIT men, those condoms are a disgusting representation of the sex we’ll never get to have.”
Eliza Kelly, first year Journalism major and advocate of the condom distribution project, took the stand and retorted the claim with a simple eyebrow raise, as if to say “Don’t ruin this shit for the rest of us. Condoms are expensive.”
For two enthralling hours, the debate raged on with advocates of the project explaining the negative effects of sexually transmitted diseases while the protestors shouted out for justice.
In their closing argument, Johnson spoke again, choking back tears as he proclaimed, “We must make every effort to fight the matriarchy that reigns over this school. The RIT men on this campus need to stand up for what is right, what is fair and to just say ‘NO’ to the condom distribution project.”
With hundreds of men gathering across campus to continue their protest (and a rumored petition in the works), there seems to be no end in sight for the Condom Conundrum debate. So it seems as long as RIT nerds continue not to get laid, we’ll be stuck listening to their cries of injustice.