Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

Augustana ignores reproductive health on campus

Graphic made by Annie Wheeler

Although it can be an uncomfortable conversation to have, there are two things that happen on college campuses daily: people menstruate and people have sex.
Despite all of the free stuff Augustana gives to students (t-shirts, Whitey’s, stickers, coupons, lanyards, toilet paper – you name it), menstrual products and condoms remain absent from the list. I’m sure most students can attest they would get more use out of a tampon or a condom than they would out of another credit-card holder they never stick to the back of their phones.
No person on this planet asked to bleed for a week every month for decades out of their life. Going to the bathroom isn’t a choice and toilet paper is free – menstruation is a natural bodily function – tampons shouldn’t cost students anything either.
The healthiest way to wear a tampon is to replace it every four to eight hours which means people can go through anywhere between three to six tampons a day. If someone bleeds for five days they could be using between 15-30 tampons for their cycle; a regular 18 pack of Tampax tampons from Walgreens and CVS costs $6, so one box will usually only last for one cycle.
In addition to the compulsory cost of tampons, most people wear panty liners or pads alongside a tampon to decrease the chance of any bleed through. Panty liners and pads cost about the same as a box of tampons and can be used just as quickly, which means people can be forced to spend around $10 or $15 a month just on their periods. Why penalize students financially for something they have no ability to control? Tuition is expensive enough.
Since Augustana does not have a health center, they should provide menstrual products in all residence halls in addition to the free toilet paper. Similarly, since Augustana does not have a health center, the least they could be doing to increase health around campus is to provide free condoms to students in residence halls, which 85 percent of college campuses in America already do.
Not only can condoms prevent unwanted pregnancies, they also keep students healthier in general. As of this year, the American Sexual Health Association reports, “One in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25.” With a number as high as 50 percent, especially on a college campus, Augustana should make sexual health a priority. Not only can an STI interfere with a student’s health, it could affect their social health, self image, grades and overall well being.
Not providing condoms for students will not dissuade students from having sex – it will only prevent them from having safe sex. Nearly every college in America provides this service with the best intentions for their students’ health in mind. Why can’t Augustana?
“There are currently two students interning with Quad City Harm Reduction that are planning to bring condoms to the residence halls with the assistance of the CA’s,” Farrah Roberts, the director of student well-being, said. There aren’t many details or estimated dates on the subject, so many students are still pushing for this much needed change.
The real issue here is that Augustana doesn’t have a health center on campus for students’ various health needs. Until Augustana decides to prioritize students’ health on campus, they could at the very least be making small changes around the school like providing free condoms and menstrual products to increase student well-being where possible.

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  • R

    RagsOct 31, 2019 at 7:04 pm

    We are not paying thousands of dollars to receive tampons and condoms from our school. If you decide to have sex, then take some responsibility to keep yourself protected. I am more concerned with the quality of education than freebies. Now, I do agree that health services should be available for students. I would rather focus on what needs to happen to provide this service to students.

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Augustana ignores reproductive health on campus