Students for Sexual Health was founded in 2009 as the result of a student referendum at Boston College where 89.47% of the undergraduate student body voted in favor for more comprehensive access to sexual health materials and information. Over 3,600 students voted in the referendum, making it one of the highest voter turnouts in Boston College history.
The referendum read as follows:
Boston College needs to improve its sexual health education and resources, including but not limited to: Affordable testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI), prescription of birth control at Health Services, & availability of condoms on campus.
After the formation of what was then called “Boston College Students for Sexual Health,” BCSSH established safe-sites across campus that allowed for free condom distribution. These were safe, secure places where students could go to gain access to condoms. However, the BC Administration threatened disciplinary action against the students involved if they did not discontinue these safe-sites. This action led to BCSSH making national news, most notably in the Boston Globe and the New York Times.
In response to this threat of disciplinary action, BCSSH changed its name to simply “Students for Sexual Health,” and began “tabling” and distributing condoms every other week on College Road, a public road in Newton that runs between BC’s Main and Upper campus.
After conducting a comprehensive sexual health survey of the student body at Boston College in December of 2017 to which 400 students responded, we discovered that roughly 80% of BC Eagles are sexually active, while 58% of students did not always use a condom during genital or anal sex. In light of these alarming results, we proposed a Sex Health Referendum of the student body to encourage the university to allow our organization on campus to hold meetings, organize events, and distribute contraceptives to our peers without receiving official university recognition or funding. The measure passed with an overwhelming 94% of students voting ‘Yes’! Despite this astounding victory and refraining from requesting university funding for our group, the university immediately rejected all on-campus condom distribution and refused to allow SSH to hold meetings and events at BC.
Despite these administrative obstacles, SSH has utilized technology to develop an innovative condom delivery service to provide free contraceptive access to BC students. We launched the program to the student body on March 13th, 2018. This new distribution program, called RubberHub, continues to expand and promote the sexual health of Boston College students.