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Extra! Extra! Use a Condom

Extra! Extra! Use a Condom


Editors at the University of Oklahoma's student newspaper were so eager to promote safer sex practices among the college's nearly 31,000 students during National Condom Week that they taped 10,000 of the love gloves to the front page of the newspaper's February 13 issue. 'The thought was that we were already doing a package of safer-sex and condom stories, so what's a way to take it a step further, to really get the point out there and get their attention?' says The Oklahoma Daily managing editor Tres Savage, who spearheaded the giveaway. But Savage insists the newspaper wasn't promoting sexual activity, and an accompanying editorial in the issue explained the condom distribution: 'We're not encouraging sex, but if people are going to do the dirty, they should do it as cleanly as possible.' The 10,000 condoms were donated by Planned Parenthood, the Regional AIDS Network in Oklahoma City, and OU's Health Sciences Center. Although the student newspaper's staffers expected the condom distribution to stir emotions on the conservative college campus, they were surprised when the reaction was considerably more muted. Savage says he received a few e-mail complaints and staff saw some students throwing the condoms away, but on the whole, he adds, the student body was nonplussed. 'I have sort of mixed feelings about that,' Savage says. 'I almost wanted a larger response. But it is exciting that people on campus seem to know that if you're going to have sex, you should use protection.'

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