By Riya Gopal
Currently, Boston University has no language in any of its policies guaranteeing easy access to sexual health services. In contemporary society, such language is crucial in creating an environment that serves to educate others on the importance of sexual health and improve upon conditions that may lead to sexual misconceptions. I am a part of a Reproductive Bill of Rights Task Force that is in the process of drafting a bill to create advancements in BU’s policies regarding reproductive healthcare. Listed below are our current propositions.
1. Plan B should be available for all students at Student Health Services without an appointment.
2. Free condoms should be available via dispensers in all bathrooms of the first floor of every Boston University Charles River campus residence hall. This includes both internal and external condoms.
3. Menstrual hygiene products should be available via free dispensers in all student-facing restrooms across Boston University’s Charles River campus.
4. There should be gender-neutral bathrooms in all Charles River campus residence halls, a minimum of one on every floor. Other Boston University buildings including schools, FitRec, student centers, and dining halls should also have one clearly labeled gender-neutral bathroom per floor.
5. Wellness & Prevention Services and Student Health Services must regularly collaborate and host free STI testing clinics available for all Boston University students. At a minimum, there should be two clinics per academic year.
6. All written statements, policies, regulations, and other literature published by Boston University and its schools must consistently contain gender-neutral language. If the literature is highlighting or referencing any gender identity in particular, an accurate and comprehensive explanation of said identity will also be included.
7. A Boston University-affiliated website will be built and be a central source of reproductive and sexual health information for all Boston University students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public. This website will include statistics, lists of on- and off-campus health resources, fast facts regarding sexual health, and LGBTQIA+ affirming education. This website will also have quick links for confidential and non-confidential resources for disclosing or reporting all forms of gender-based violence.
8. All first-year undergraduate students are required to complete the Sexual Assault Response & Prevention center’s “Step Up Step In BU” bystander intervention training. This should also be required of all transfer students, regardless of year. Students who do not attend and receive credit should be unable to register for courses for the following semester.
If you want to become a part of this incredible task force, there are many ways to get involved! Sign our petition using this link http://chng.it/htF6sMnvB4, or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to contribute to this petition and become a part of the task force. Together, we can make a difference.