Monday, April 9, 2012

State rep blasts University of Wisconsin for Spring Break condom giveaway

by Ben Johnson

MADISON, WISCONSIN, April 5, 2012, ( – A state representative is criticizing the University of Wisconsin at Madison for giving away free bags to students before spring break containing lip balm, suntan lotion – and condoms.

Rep. Steve Nass has said the giveaway sends the wrong message and is a poor use of funds by the state-funded university.

Rep. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater

State Rep. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater

His spokesperson, Mike Mikalsen, said Nass believes “it’s not the role of the university to encourage sexual activity.” He added, “if you can afford to go to the Caribbean, then you can afford to buy your own condoms.”

“It’s bad on several levels,” said Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, a state pro-family organization. “It’s bad because it uses taxpayer money for something of that nature. But it’s also sending a message to our young people that sex is just for recreation, and there’s no procreative aspect to it. As our president said, you wouldn’t want anybody punished with a baby.”

U-W Madison’s University Health Services Executive Director Sarah Van Orman said the university provides “free” condoms to students all year long at a cost of a few thousand dollars annually.

“Our U-W system has had this of mentality of promoting promiscuity and encouraging recreational sex among the student on taxpayer money for years,” Appling said. She said the problem goes well beyond Madison, one of the nation’s most notoriously liberal universities, and is system-wide. “We know that other campuses have done this in the past, as well,” she said.

After a similar incident created widespread backlash several years ago, she said the university has gotten better at communicating the message under the media’s radar.

Rep. Terese Berceau, the Democratic representative of Madison, said the condom giveaway is “sending a good message.”

Appling strongly disagreed. “The best thing they can do is build up the value of marriage and the appropriate place for sex being within the bounds of marriage,” she said. “Universities should be raising the standard higher.”

Abstinence and the self-control that goes with it are the keys to completing a successful academic life and embarking on a productive career, she said. “The U-W misses that message in its totality. It’s cheating our young people. It’s robbing them of the best in life and unfortunately causing them to settling for much less than they were created to be.”

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