To the international community, the Olympic Games embodies
athletes' passion for physical discipline, moral rigor, and
educational pursuit. But apparently at UVA, the Olympics represents
students' passion for noncommittal sex, a profuseness of condoms,
and sexually explicit entertainment.
This past Sunday Faulkner Residential Staff, sponsored by Elson
Student Health and Condomania, hosted the first annual "Condom
Olympics," a "festival"
of "free food, free games, free prizes, free condoms, free lube,
and free online coupons" that guaranteed "information about proper
condom use, safe and effective forms of birth control, STI testing,
screening, and prevention, sex facts, and trivia."
In addition to reducing its student body to uncontrollable
sexual beings devoid of discipline or ethical awareness, the Condom
Olympics was wrought by three main issues.
First, this event lacked any reliable educational component.
Advertisements promised the event to be staffed "by local
healthcare professionals as well as student leaders from around
grounds." In actuality, neither healthcare professionals nor Peer
Health leadership were present for the duration of the event.
Rather, Resident Advisors (who, according to interviewed RAs, do
not receive any substantial sexual health training) sat around
posters decorated with condoms, lube, and questionable facts. The
"Condoms and Sexual Health" poster, for instance, derived its
information from a website called "
Guyism: What Guys Need" and was written by the author of
similarly ridiculous articles like "
Who Would You Rather: Beyonce or Jenifer Aniston?" and "
14 mind-blowing things you need to know about threesomes." The
"Down 'n Dirty Jeopardy" poster professed blatant falsehoods. For
example, one question,"This is the only contraceptive that can also
prevent the spread of STIs, including HIV" had the response
"condom." In fact, abstinence is the only contraception
that guarantees protection from STIs.
This brings me to my second concern: the Condom Olympics
perpetuates a false social norm that has proven utterly destructive
to the UVA community and society. Time and time again,
studies indicate that casual sex is harmful to both men
and women (though disproportionately so for women). Ironically,
Elson Student Health acknowledges,
"Overestimating unhealthy behaviors and underestimating healthy
behaviors can create internal pressure to behave a certain way. By
correcting misperceptions like these and focusing on the accurate
'norm,' students have space to act on their own values." Yet Peer
Health continues to portray sex as an extracurricular activity
through events like the Condom Olympics and SexFest. Truly
empowering students with the information to act on their own values
rather than pushing a sex-obsessed agenda would require sexual
health events to provide all options
equally-including options like abstinence or the calendar rhythm
method. It is imperative that university sponsored events cease to
pressure students into accepting a blasé view of sex by presenting
its carefree participation as the social norm.
Lastly, the Condom Olympics was a gross misuse of university
funds. That is right. Both Student Health and the Faulkner
Residential Staff are funded by your tuition and tax
dollars. What do they use this money for? Condoms, condoms, and
more condoms-oh, and lube. The Condom Olympics had an overabundance
of [sexually suggestive] food, goodie bags (with, you guessed it,
more condoms), and exploitative music. I find it somewhat ironic
(nay, disgusting) that the university chooses to splurge on such
drastic cuts to financial aid packages for middle and low
Unfortunately, the Condom Olympics is not an anomaly. It is yet
another example of the university's belief that sexual health
simply entails disseminating condoms galore with scant facts and
sometimes blatant lies. It is high time that the
university-especially Student Health-terminates similarly
destructive events and recommits itself to the self-discipline,
ethical excellence, and intellectual standards that Mr. Jefferson
Written by Christina Hadford-Vice Chair of YAF at University of
Also, see our story in the Daily Caller