Instead of just birthday cards and bills, Boston University students can expect to receive a few more unusual packages in their mailboxes from now on.
Student Health Services launched their new Condom Fairy campaign this month, where students can receive free male and female condoms and personal lubricants to their on-campus mailboxes.
With the new release of this service, BU students seem overwhelmingly supportive of the program and glad to see a new level of sexual health education working its way into campus life.
“Before the Condom Fairy project, the only place you could get condoms or sexual health help was at Student Health Services. For a lot of people, that was out of the way or uncomfortable,” said Chloe Sakow, a senior and one of the Student Health Ambassadors helping to promote the program.
The feedback has been almost exclusively supportive of the program so far, said Sakow.
“I think most people are interested in it because it’s a free, no-hassle program,” she said. “We’ve gotten a lot of requests through the online site because it’s user friendly and I think that it really helps combat any kind of embarrassment.”
Cara Matarazzo, a BU sophomore who received a package from the Condom Fairy, thinks the new program will improve safe sex practices on campus. “I would never go out and buy condoms,” said Matarazzo. “But now, after the Condom Fairy, I have them and this way, girls can have [condoms] if they need them.”
Matarazzo, who attended a Catholic high school, was surprised by the open culture about sexual health on campus. “BU promotes safe sex really well. We don’t ignore it here; we talk about it. It’s not a shameful thing to talk about on campus,” she said.
Jonathan Orrala, a senior at BU, agrees that the Condom Fairy is a positive program at BU.
“There is a whole population at BU that may not be motivated to walk into Student Health Services and walk out with a handful of condoms and lube,” he said. “This is an alternative to the weirdness that comes with just going into SHS for one thing only.”
Orrala, who is studying public health and health science, believes BU has made a solid effort to promote sexual health education on campus. “There is no perfect way to educate students about sexual health,” he said.
The Condom Fairy, however, has helped spread sexual health on campus and students are receptive to the program.
“BU students are having sex and it is better that they are getting free condoms anonymously than not using condoms at all,” said Orrala said. “I filled out a [Condom Fairy] request form [earlier today].”
Boston University sophomore and member of the BU chapter of FACE AIDS, Nicole DeSimone agrees with Matarazzo and Orrala, and thinks the Condom Fairy is a perfect method to raise awareness for safe sex and sexual health on campus.
“People are sometimes shy to buy contraceptives and [the Condom Fairy] is a good way to avoid embarrassment, and now people are more apt to use [condoms],” said DeSimone.
As a member of FACE AIDS, DeSimone works to raise money and awareness about HIV, AIDS, and safe sex.
“The Condom Fairy is definitely a step in the right direction. It will gear students for a safer future,” she said.
Even with such positive feedback from the student body, the Student Health Ambassadors and Student Health Services are still working hard to promote sexual health on campus along with the Condom Fairy campaign, which is funded mostly through donations and volunteering. The low cost of the program is funded through Student Health Services, said Sakow.
The BU Bus, a free form of transportation for students around campus, has been outfitted with advertisements on the interior for the Condom Fairy program with catchy lines like “She delivers so you can too,” said Sakow.
“We didn’t want anything cheesy or awkward. I think [the slogans] are just funny enough to catch people’s attention” she said.
Student Health Services also hopes to expand the Condom Fairy campaign to off-campus mailboxes in the future, making the program free and accessible to all BU students, regardless of their address.
“We’re going to be doing a lot more sexual health on campus,” said Sakow. “[With the Condom Fairy], there’s no better way of getting sexual health resources delivered to your door.”
This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and the Boston University News Service.
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