The Lakeland Mirror

Letter to Editor: Condom Machines

To whom it may concern,

“SAP Project Hopes to Make Condoms Available” may be the silliest article and idea I’ve read in a long time. Is the school seriously considering spending $7000.00 not including the cost of stock rotation and maintenance for condom machines? As a parent of a Lakelander who pays a large portion of my student’s bill, I have more than a few problems with this plan and the article:

Firstly, the article tells only one side of the story. I’ve grown accustomed to reading both sides and multiple perspectives in the Mirror. The author didn’t find anyone opposed to funding such an unnecessary project? This is activist journalism where the author takes a side and uses the press to push their agenda rather than just report the facts and let the reader come to their own opinion. Activist journalism has become rampant and it has been a breath of fresh air to read the Mirror which until now didn’t take that path. There was an opposing editorial, but I’ve noticed editorials aren’t given space on the website which means readers won’t see the opposing view in the online edition.

Additionally, the use of second hand quotes in the piece, such as having someone else explain Mrs. Grandillo’s ‘support’ of the machines, was unprofessional and couldn’t be validated by her single direct quote.

Secondly, as a parent paying a large sum to the college, I expect Lakeland to be a good steward of my payments and make the most efficient use of them. This $7000 + expenditure won’t in any way aid the academic advancement or personal growth of students. Funds would be better spent on academic achievement than questionable and risky extra-curricular activities. The author portrays condoms as miracle protection from disease and pregnancy when truthfully the estimated failure rate is quoted as being anywhere from 7-12%. If Lakeland has extra money and wants to help students then how about installing cellular repeaters so they can use cell phones to contact parents? Why not give it to this newspaper to allow it to expand, win new awards that shine a bright light on Lakeland, and advance the careers of the staff?

Thirdly, the story, as biased as it was, didn’t convince me there is a need for this service. Condoms are available at Wal-Mart for just $6 for a 12-pack. Using self checkout, it’s completely anonymous; a far cry from back in the day when you had to ask the pharmacist for a box from behind the counter. They are easy to get.

Fourthly, Lakeland is supposed prepare students for life in the real world. Caring for these young adults to the point of ensuring they are never embarrassed is not in any way preparing them for reality. Start treating these students like adults and they might surprise you.

Fifthly, while I understand Lakeland is a private college and receives no direct government funds, students bring these funds to Lakeland in terms of grants and federally secured loans. Again, efficient use of funds would be expected of an institution indirectly receiving government funding, which brings me to my final point:

With the cost of college education rising far quicker than inflation students are graduating with burdensome debt; it’s completely unconscionable that any additional debt would come from a program as wasteful as this trying to fill a need much better (and cheaper) filled by Wal-Mart.

In summary, I find this program a waste of valuable funds in an economy that dictates we be prudent in our spending. Furthermore, I find the article nothing more than an activist piece trying to shame the college into providing something the writer wants at great expense to the rest. I’ve come to expect more from the Mirror.

Best regards,

Timothy J, Lakeland Parent

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Letter to Editor: Condom Machines