US & Canada

Boston College warns 'no condom distribution on campus'

Image caption US Catholic universities have previously tried to stop distributing condoms on campus

A Boston Catholic university has warned that students distributing condoms on campus may face disciplinary action.

Students running "safe sites" in dorm rooms providing condoms and advice may be violating Boston College's religious mission, administrators told them.

But a student spokeswoman has said the students offer a service not otherwise available at the university.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has said it may take legal action against the school.

In a letter sent to students on 15 March, Paul Chebator, dean of students, and George Arey, dean of residence life, said the distribution of condoms conflicted with the "responsibility to protect the values and traditions of Boston College as a Jesuit, Catholic ­institution", the Boston Globe newspaper reported.

"While we understand that you may not be intentionally violating university policy, we do need to advise you that should we receive any reports that you are, in fact, distributing condoms on campus, the matter would be referred to the student conduct office for disciplinary action by the university," the deans wrote.

Lizzie Jekanowski, chairwoman for the BC Students for Sexual Health, said the university had been aware of the programme but had never before warned it would take action, the newspaper reported.

"We were very disappointed that the signatories of the letter never contacted us beforehand," Ms Jekanowski said.

"We've had a very open relationship, and it's been very positive. This letter was very war-mongering and threatening."

Meanwhile, the local chapter of the ACLU said the university's warning was inappropriate and may even violate the law.

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