Access to condoms on campus and in Rome

Ian Hinze, Campus Carrier News Editor

The Health and Wellness Center has condoms available for students who request them, in addition to condoms available in the nursing suite in Evans.

Students can not find the condoms on the self-help table in the Health and Wellness Center along with the cough drops and aspirin, but have to ask a nurse to get them from the office.

                                                                                  Chelsea Hoag, Managing Editor

Anita Errickson, director of the Health and Wellness Center, said few students ask for condoms from the Center.

“We have condoms here, it’s just that no one ever asks for them,” Errickson said. “We keep the samples here in the Ladd Center, but I never order any more, because students never come and ask for them.”

Errickson said she believes this is because students are getting their condoms from other sources.

“I believe most students are buying them from the CVS Pharmacy,” Errickson said. “They’re a personal hygiene product, and the CVS is right down the street. It seems to me that most students don’t need to come to us for condoms.”

Errickson said the Health and Wellness center has to make hard decisions when it comes to budgeting.

“It comes down to, do we have enough to buy flu tests, and other necessities?” Errickson said. “I have to make those decisions. No one ever comes asking me for condoms, so we don’t buy more … we just have the samples in my office.”

Several students said they had no idea whether the Health and Wellness Center provided condoms at all.

Freshman Brooke Copeland said her friends have never gotten condoms from the Health and Wellness Center.

“I have friends that use condoms from Evans (in the Nursing Suite), and they break easily,” Copeland said. “I presume you can get them in the Ladd, but I don’t know anyone who does. The best choice is to go to CVS and buy them yourself, but some people can’t do that. They’re either embarrassed or can’t afford them, or both.”

Freshman Victoria Liss said she doesn’t know where to find condoms on campus and finds that to be a problem.

“Condoms are important. They don’t just prevent pregnancy, they stop the transmission of some serious diseases,” Liss said. “I don’t have much experience with using contraceptives, but I know there are people who need them on campus.”

Junior Shira Pollio said she doesn’t know of anyone who receives condoms form the Health and Wellness Center.

“Some friends get them from (the nursing suite in) Evans, some just buy them at the CVS,” Pollio said.

Pollio said the best resource for students at Berry in need of contraceptives is Women of Worth in Rome.

“They have a good variety of contraceptives of good quality, and I recommend going there,” Pollio said. “I have friends who got some there, and most of my friends recommend Women of Worth.”

Women of Worth provides healthcare for women in Rome, including free STD tests and pregnancy tests and a wide selection of free condoms, according to their website.

Pollio also said that according to friends of hers at other colleges, Berry is behind when it comes to contraceptive availability.

“My friend from high school attending Bryn Mawr has told me that condoms and dental dams are available in every bathroom,” Pollio said. “That’s at a women’s college. I know we’re a very religious school, but that doesn’t mean students who need contraceptives shouldn’t be able to get them and be safe.”

Another resource for condoms is the Rome AIDS Resource Council, which also provides non-invasive HIV testing and HIV/AIDS prevention education.

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