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View Diary: Boston College: Students must stop dispensing condoms (65 comments)

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  •  Free speech and this particular instance (1+ / 0-)
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    As several have said, private institution can restrict speech on its premises. Some college codes of conduct also apply off-campus, or at least claim to. In this case, the students aren't just doing this privately or out of their own pockets, gifting, etc. They are part of a network of dorm rooms (and one off campus location) called SafeSites. They can get condoms (M &F) lube and literature. What the college is asking is that they stop distributing birth control, not the literature. They get outside funding for this and donations of the 'goods'.

    If it weren't an organized network using school property, they might have turned a blind eye. They could have handled it differently - the students seem upset that this was known to the college but only now are they cracking down. I don't know why this timing, but they are within their rights.

    One student is quoted as saying they should not have to choose between a world-class institution and 'their holistic health care'. Unfortunately, they chose a Catholic world-class institution, which does not see condoms as health care.

    I don't agree with Catholic teaching on contraception or much else (and I was born, baptized, and confirmed in the faith). But BC is within its rights - and I make these comments as a former dean at a private liberal arts New England institution - not Catholic.

    You get what you deserve, even if you don't deserve it (Issan Dorsey, Zen teacher)

    by kayak58 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:17:24 AM PDT

    •  Not entirely (0+ / 0-)

      IIRC in Massachusetts, dorms are covered to some degree by landlord-tenant regulations.  It's a basic principle that you have the right to do things that are legal and do not affect your neighbors in your own abode.  The standard outside that dorm room becomes more restrictive: you have the right to wave them around as a political statement but BC can probably ban their actual distribution since it generally is allowed to control what business is transacted in its property.  Their right to otherwise restrict it has nothing to do with their religious status; BC can generally regulate goods distribution on campus.

      BC has no particular privileges because it is Catholic; its tax exempt status derives from its status as an educational institution.

      BC may not be a Catholic school much longer.  Reportedly they don't want to be an ATM for paying for pedophile priest settlements, and the Vatican finds the campus culture rather foreign and increasingly interferes with academic matters.

      •  Interesting. (0+ / 0-)

        But I wonder if the sponsorship and using the college's real estate for other than strictly private purposes is an issue even if it's legal under the rules governing rental housing.

        You get what you deserve, even if you don't deserve it (Issan Dorsey, Zen teacher)

        by kayak58 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:24:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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