Ama Ansah, sophomore, is a site coordinator for Trojan Brand Condoms at University of Richmond, and has been distributed 500 condoms to students throughout the year at fraternity lodge parties and in Tyler Haynes Commons as part of Trojan's Great Condom Campaign. The campaign is designed to encourage safe sex by having students pass out condoms to their peers in a variety of ways.
Ansah connected with Student Alliance for Sexual Diversity and UR Players to pass out the condoms in a program called Play it Safe. Ansah and other members of the organizations passed out condoms at lodges twice last spring and once already this spring.
She has also been handing out condoms in the Commons every Friday in a bag with candy. Ansah said she thought passing condoms out in the Commons could reach more people because not everyone goes to the lodges.
Ansah said she was also concerned by the fact that passing out condoms to a largely intoxicated audience could be sending the wrong message regarding sexual assault.
"It's so complicated," Ansah said. "It creates a moral dilemma because we're not there to be the drunk police but we also don't want things to happen."
Beth Curry, coordinator for sexual misconduct education and advocacy, said it was important to have condoms available at the student health center and other places that students could have access to them soberly and as part of a plan to have safe sex, but distributing them at a party had a mixed message.
Curry said the environment of a lodge party with the flow of alcohol, underage drinking and certain themes could contribute to problems.
"I think alcohol definitely contributes to sexual assault and throwing condoms in the mix is a message that can be construed that anything goes," Curry said.
Contact reporter Katie Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org