Condom vending machines along streets of Guangdong Province are no longer a big matter. But when the machines are to be installed on campus, targeting exclusively college students, it causes a stir again.
The Guangdong Family Planning Commission has decided to select 8 universities in the province to install the condom machines for students on a trial basis, people start to debate.
"The final list of the 8 schools has not been decided, and consulting work with schools involved is still ongoing," Yu Senquan, an official with Guangdong Family Planning Commission said. "Students can easily get condoms after the machines are ready with guaranteed quality to safeguard safe sex and prevent unwanted pregnancies."
Guangzhou, capital city of Guangdong Province, plays a pioneer role in the work. Duan Jianhua, an official with the family planning commission, said "The colleges I've contacted hold different attitudes towards this. There are both cons and pros."
"As the university authority, we firmly oppose to condom vending machines on our campus," said Kong Xiaoming, publicity chief of Guangzhou-based Guangdong University of Foreign Studies "On campus, this very move is definitely prohibited, and we would never allow students to have sex experience while in college."
But some other universities welcome condom vending machines on their campuses. Jinan University in Guangzhou is totally for the move, saying "It's everyone's responsibility to help to curb the spread of AIDS and other STDs. We can't be blind to the existing phenomenon that a great part of college students reaching puberty do have sex experiences."
However, students, supposed to be beneficiaries of this move, seem to be shy to give their comments.
One male college student in Guangzhou said on condition of anonymity: "It's a pioneering and considerate move that better serves students' needs. In our early 20s we are very much prone to excitement, sometimes could not control ourselves. So it'd better for colleges to provide an easy access to condoms in case the incident happens."
(People's Daily March 16, 2004)