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Planned Parenthood denied condom distribution on campus

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StandOut embraced the condom distribution warmly, and with humor. Photo by John Rothwell

By Kayla Tucker – Managing Editor

A Planned Parenthood representative was told she could not hand out condoms to students during Club Day today at Grand Rapids Community College.  

Assistant Director of Student Life and Conduct Evan Macklin said that the school invited the city’s health department to attend Club Day and speak to students about sexual assault. When the health department representative called in sick this morning, the city sent Planned Parenthood instead.

Macklin said the school does not want to take a stance on student sexual activity.

“(Planned Parenthood) is just there as more of a community resource,” Macklin said.

A GRCC police officer was standing next to the booth making sure the GRCC representation was being upheld.

“I’ve got several boxes (of condoms) and nobody to give them to,” said Kym Duursma, Senior Education Specialist at Planned Parenthood.

Duursma found the directive that she couldn’t hand out condoms “a little upsetting,” but she was glad that students could still get them if they wanted to.

“I think college students may need condoms,” Duursma said. “That’s part of what we’re here for and part of the draw to get people to come to the table and talk to us.”

GRCC police gave the condoms to StandOut, a student club on campus representing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender-plus rights.

“There shouldn’t have been a problem in the first place,” Ben Enter, 23, member of StandOut said. “The school should be advocating safe sex because it’s going to happen anyway.”

Duursma said that students taking condoms was a responsibility.

“Statistically speaking, it’s a time when students are exploring sexuality and starting to become sexually active and part of that responsibility is protecting yourself,” Duursma said.