Lack of condoms on campus raises questions

By Editorial Board

Experimenting with sex and exploring the human body in our teens and early 20s has been a societal benchmark of maturity as long as history has been recorded.
Turning a blind eye to this expected behavior is not only irresponsible, it literally puts the lives of the young people we love at risk.
Make no mistake, Contra Costa College administrators do their due diligence to help students dealing with food insecurities, homelessness, immigration concerns and sexual harassment among other issues — so why aren’t condoms available on campus?
This campus is not only home to college students of varying ages, high school students also use the campus as a base of experimentation and learning as well.
Students have been caught in all manner of compromising positions on campus and it’s safe to assume many of them weren’t playing it safe.
If the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUD) has enough concern for its students to institute a health education program to ensure its students have the ability to explore their sexuality responsibly, shouldn’t CCC?
Much of the August 2018 (WCCUD) parent-student handbook outlines the practices a public institution should follow when ensuring the safety of its students.
It reads in part, “The School Board also recognizes that some students are engaging in sexual activity and other risk-taking behaviors that can lead to increased risk of infection of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
“The School Board has taken steps to prevent the spread of HIV among and by students who choose not to abstain from sexual activity by implementing a Condom Availability Program as part of HIV/AIDS Education for high school students.”
However, high school students only make up a portion of CCC’s student body and many members of the campus community are already parents.
It is not an uncommon occurrence to see a student, mid-way through her education plan, have to put it all on hold upon discovering the joy of an unplanned pregnancy.
Many return, but the balancing act of maintaining a healthy family and continuing education is too much for many to handle at times. Preventing teenage pregnancies aren’t the only necessary precautions.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) 2017 surveillance report, cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia have increased making it the fourth consecutive year that STDs have been on the rise in the U.S.
At the same time, a 2018 compilation of studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health found school-based Condom Availability Programs (CAPs) positively influenced sexual behavior, while no studies reported an increase in sexual activity.
These findings suggest that school-based CAPs may be an effective strategy for improving condom coverage and promoting positive sexual behaviors.
The data proves it’s time CCC became a campus that actively promotes safe sex.