Our Current Condom Policy:
“As Furman University’s heritage involves a foundation of values steeped in the Judeo-Christian tradition, we seek to follow principles inherent in such tradition and values. A basic tenet of one such value is the sanctity of marriage and the vows implicit to such an undertaking. As a result, Furman does not support or condone the practice of sexual intercourse outside of marriage.
In light of these positions, it would be inconsistent, if not also hypocritical, for Furman to engage in the dispensation of condoms on its campus, whether through its Health Services facilities or by any other means.
Just as each individual here must choose his or her own course of conduct with reference to the values that he or she holds dear, the University must take, and has taken, its position with reference to the values and heritage that are at the core of its foundation.”
Why we think it should change:
We believe that a history of Judeo-Christian tradition is not incongruent with condom availability. Furman has a moral responsibility to its students to provide safe environments for academics and social interactions. By providing condoms Furman is not condoning or encouraging premarital sex, but rather they are recognizing that some students will engage in sexual activity and they need to be armed with all information to be able to make rational decisions to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases. Many STDs are contracted because someone was too embarrassed to say, "hey, let's use a condom." Furman's policy is reinforcing and justifying that embarrassment. We believe that making condoms available to the student body is a good first step in ending the culture of silence surrounding sexuality and sexual health. And isn't it hypocritical for Furman to provide prescriptions for birth control pills and the morning after pill, but not condoms?
What is being done to change the policy:
May 20, 2005, Board of Trustees deliberated the issue of condom distribution. Four students were allowed to speak at the Student Services Committee, two pro and two con. Stacie Irwin and Chris Priedemann spoke on the pro-condom side. They gave the committee a packet of information explaining why condoms should be available on campus. The packet included:
What the trustees decided:
Following the student presentations, the trustees deliberated the issue for nearly an hour, in debate that closely echoed many of the statements we have heard during our AFS forum and debate on the condom resolution. It seemed the committee was headed towards a very close vote when Dr. Vaughn Crowe-Tipton historically brought a new perspective to the debate.As chaplain, Crowe-Tipton basically said that he clearly understood the questions of morality and faith involved in condom distribution and as a father he was deeply concerned about the simple reality that students in college have sex. But what both sides had in common was that each position revolved around more education. Students should have more education about sex so- the risks it entails, the consequences of poor choices, and even abstinence. One trustees specifically mentioned that many of the students that come to Furman have only been taught one thing their entire life: abstinence. As a result, when they choose otherwise, there exists a dangerous gap in education that could help them make better choices for themselves and others. But as we discussed the need for more education - the problem arose of how to do this while upholding the values of Furman University. The final decision of the board is as follows:
1. Both sides agree that the current condom policy is poorly written and needs to be re-worked.
2. A task force, appointed by Harry Shucker, of students, faculty and trustees will be assembled to recommend the best way to incorporate needed sexual education and Furman's tradition of values together in a course or component of some sort that could be included in O-week. Whatever component that may be created could also include the distribution of condoms for students who wish to make that decision. The task force should be assembled and makes its recommendation by the next trustee meeting, Fall of 2005.