Letter: Free condoms on campus would prevent STDs

Where are all the condoms hiding?

I get it. Safe sex is supposed to be a no-brainer. We are after all adults who are in college making very real adult decisions and taking on tens of thousands of dollars in debt that will follow many of us throughout our entire adult life. So the assumption is that we as students at Iowa State are making healthy decisions about our bodies and sexual health, right?

Well that assumption is just plain wrong. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases occur each year. And of those 19 million, almost half occur in people ages 15-24. And let me tell you, that age range encompasses a lot of people who are roaming around Iowa State’s hallowed halls right now. More statistics relate this problem to college students specifically, stating one out of four college students will become infected with a STD during his or her college career. That means that statistically you or one of your three best “study buddies” will be walking out of Iowa State with more than just a diploma. One study found that only 54 percent of college students use condoms regularly with vaginal sex. That number drops to an alarming 29 percent with anal intercourse. Anything below 100 percent condom usage is just not acceptable.

So what is it I’m saying that we as a community need to do to combat high rates of new STD cases on campus? Make condoms available everywhere. Condoms should be available — preferably for free, I mean that tuition has to go somewhere —  in every bathroom, in every building on campus. By increasing the exposure to free condoms the hope is that more students will make the connection to use them. Because honestly how are people ever going to get comfortable with using a condom if they never see one? And although I do adore the free condom table at the Memorial Union on whatever day it is, how many college students do you know that are comfortable enough to walk right up to a table, staffed all the time, in the middle of the Memorial Union, to get condoms? If there are any less than 5,000 people per day taking condoms then I’d say that is a fail. Sorry, I know it has very good intentions, but get real. 

It’s time for us as students to start demanding condoms become visible, because let’s be honest. We are having sex. Not all of us, but a lot of us. Pretending that we aren’t just isn’t going to cut it anymore, and it’s time that Iowa State take an active role in preventing another student from becoming just another statistic because that is an adventure we could all live without.

That is all I have to say about that one.