Seton Hall University was ranked 135th out of 140 schools for this year’s Trojan Annual Sexual Health Report Card.
The study is sponsored by the maker of Trojan Brand Condoms and is conducted by Sperling’s Best Places, a website that compares factors between different locations, such as climate, economy, and in this case, sexual health.
The study aims to call attention to the state of sexual health on college campuses by ranking the schools based on plans to improve sexual health and resource accessibility, according to trojanbrands.com.
Factors that are considered in this ranking are contraceptive/condom availability, HIV/STI testing on campus, sexual assault programs, and other outreach programs, according to trojanbrands.com.
“Seton Hall Health Services supports the University’s Catholic Mission,” said Diane Lynch, director of Health Services. “Therefore we do not dispense condoms from our office.”
Lynch also said that SHU was aware of their current ranking and knew that the school would not score highly because distributing condoms would mean going against the Catholic mission.
“Just because we do not dispense condoms or contraceptives does not mean we do not address sexual health,” Lynch said. Health Services provides “counseling, treatment of STI’s, pap screenings, and referrals to local GYN or primary care doctors for services that may fall outside of our services.”
However, Lynch said she was in contact with a representative from Trojan to see what SHU can do to improve its ranking, considering it fell from 128th in 2015.
Some Catholic universities ranked higher than SHU. DePaul University ranked 125 and Georgetown University ranked 126. In comparison, Texas Christian University ranked 91.
The bottom five universities in the ranking from 136 to 140 are Troy State University-Main Campus, Providence College, University of Notre Dame, St. John’s University-New York and Brigham Young University.
Some students were not surprised that SHU ranks so low.
“It’s a Catholic school,” said Kiera Alexander, a freshman journalism major. “It makes sense.”
Alexander added that if the University does attempt to help students find doctors that can provide services that SHU cannot, such as distributing contraceptives, she sees no reason why SHU should change its stance on the topic of contraceptives.
When asked if Trojan should be ranking SHU, Alexander said, “I don’t think it should be placed. This is something all Catholic schools have in common and is widely known.”
Sayer Collins, a junior education major, said that she was not surprised by the ranking either.
“It’s the university’s responsibility to refer students to doctors, but it’s also their responsibility to stay loyal to the Catholic mission,” Collins said.
“Kids today are going to be sexually active,” Collins added. “Honestly, if they don’t like the university’s stance on this topic, they should pick different schools.”
Isabel Soisson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org