It isn’t entirely easy standing up for principles, especially when it feels as though the majority of people find such principles a bit weird or anachronistic. Despite this, I must take a stand on an issue I feel warrants our attention. The Peer Education department, I feel, needs to reevaluate the so-called “principles” they espouse to our freshmen when they first walk on campus. Having not spent my first year at Georgetown, I had the chance to visit my first Peer Ed meeting the other night. A bit tall and somewhat out of place, I was welcomed by the Peer Ed department, and they were very helpful in providing me with substantial supplemental information about student health. But I was quickly disheartened at the end of the meeting by what I consider to be a failure of the Peer Education department to recognize the Catholic tenets of our university. First, I believe the condom issue must be addressed. Georgetown students know about the condom issue and are aware that contraceptives are unavailable on campus, right? Or is this not the case? It is the case that the Corp, the hospital pharmacy and other merchants on the campus agree to follow. Yet, the double standard becomes clearer as one realizes that condoms are widely prevalent and available should one attend his or her first Peer Education meeting. Carol Day, Director of Heath Education, was kind enough to speak to me from her home about this issue. Day noted that the condoms are donated by a company and authorized to be used in Peer Ed demonstrations by the Catholic Professor of Theology and Dean of Students, James Donahue. According to her, condoms are not contraceptives, but rather, articles for “disease prevention.” However one addresses the semantics of the issue, we might all agree that condoms are indeed contraceptives, and, hence, ask ourselves what kind of disease Peer Ed is preventing at a University that forbids dormitory cohabitation in its official handbook and the selling of contraceptives from its own pharmacy. How are we to justify what kind of a disease Peer Education is “preventing?” They openly leave condoms in the middle of a room with a Peer “Educator” shouting, “take as many as you want!” Hold on here. Most people don’t like double standards, and I am one of them. We have countless organizations that are willing to follow the guidelines of this university (albeit, a unique university), and yet there is one organization — a massive and expensive administrative office — that has somehow created a loophole in university policy by excusing the placing of condoms throughout rooms packed with freshmen. However, the former might not be the greater part of an increasing problem. I find it even more ridiculous and more offensive that our freshmen must attend meetings where sophomore Peer Ed instructors insist that “everyone’s having sex, and those that don’t admit it aren’t facing reality.” The fact of the matter is that those who disagree with my more unrealistic venting might still recognize that students ought to have the choice whether to attend these meetings. Indeed, our university prides itself on admitting a bright and well-educated freshmen class, and, yes, believe it or not, many individuals come with their own outlook and need not be “educated,” or shall we say, indoctrinated by Peer Ed. In all fairness, Day told me over the phone that the freshmen are not required to attend these meetings. However, this is the same director of the Student Health Office which ultimately coordinates with the Residence Life office to exploit freshmen Resident Assistants by having them place “MANDATORY MEETING” signs around the dorm halls. Unfamiliar with the context of the first of three meetings, freshmen are bombarded with the inside scoop on sex and visual displays of condoms being placed over a sophomore demonstrator’s shoe, arm, or in some cases, the more tasteful banana. Let me set another tone for a minute. Admittedly, the saddest part about writing this article comes while knowing that Peer Education talks about important issues such as date rape, alcoholism, drugs and eating disorders. We cannot dismiss the significance of these issues. Nonetheless, in their determination to leave condoms with our month old freshmen, whitewashing such actions with words like, “making available articles for disease prevention,” they are, in fact, actually provoking what ought to be unnecessary Viewpoint columns such as this one. Friends, this is Georgetown. Its tradition and character were shaped long before us, and long before the department of Peer Education. This has been done this way for a reason. Peer Education needs to reeducate itself not only on our university’s policy, but also its history, and why so many of us “unrealistic” little people continue to defend what we consider to be an education guided by faith. Brian Sayers is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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