“Glovebox” program provides safe sex kits

ROHAN ARORA, Asst. Opinion Editor—Denison’s Wellness center recently announced a new initiative called ‘Glovebox.’ Per the announcement sent out on the Wellness center’s wellness newsletter, “Glovebox safe sex kit is a free delivery program that sends safer sex supplies and health information to Denison students.” Students who are interested are provided with a clickable link in the text that directs them to a Google Form. The QR code with this article will also direct students to the google form.

The concept is simple — a student puts in their Denison ID and their Slayter box, then chooses one of four “glovebox” varieties to be delivered. The form promises a delivery time of 5-7 business days. The four options for boxes are ‘basic boxes’ — which contain 20 male condoms, 5 packs of lubricant, and 3 dental dams. The next option is the basic box, only with an additional 3 female condoms. The third option is a larger size specification for the ‘basic box.’ The fourth is the ‘basic box’ only without any condoms.

According to the e-mail announcement, the purpose of this initiative is “to remove barriers to accessing safer sex supplies, such as cost, inconvenience, embarrassment, or worries about privacy.” And the supplies can be ordered by any Denison student, and will be delivered in discreet packaging to a student’s slayter box.

Heather Borland, a student health and wellness educator at the Wellness Center and the brains behind the initiative on campus, explained that “we had gotten back data in the spring, some of the health safe sex practices were higher than expected, so it was a natural reaction to the idea that students are embarassed to acquire contrceptives.” Borland contrasts her initiative with the rather public nature of previous locations on campus where contraceptives are available, explaining that Glovebox’s privacy might be preferable to some. She stated that programs similar to Glovebox had been implemented on other campuses to some success, so it seemed like the right fit for a small college like Denison.

This initiative is the latest in a spike in willingness to have open conversations about sexuality on campus, as well as administration’s campaign to increase access to contraception. Previously, condoms were available in many dorm common rooms, and at the Wellness Center. As mentioned above, however, the nature of these areas were not very private.

The Glovebox program has seen some steady success in the past month. Per Borland, about 49 people have signed up for Glovebox since the announcement on October 1. One Crawford resident who requested anonymity, but participated in the program, expressed satisfaction with Whisler’s recent push for on-campus access to contraception, but also expressed confusion in regard to certain items in the kit- namely the dental dams.

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