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Members of Ohio University's Student Senate, sit around a table during their meeting, Sept. 13, 2023.

Senate debates including lubricant in “safer sacks”

Ohio University’s Student Senate met Wednesday to debate whether to include lube in the “safety sacks” the Women’s Affairs Commission puts together for students. Senate also heard guest speakers Carly Pabin and Max Burke from The Office of Basic Needs speak on Cats’ Cupboard and other resources for students.

The safer sacks would include personal alarms, pregnancy test strips, pre-lubricated condoms, temporary tattoos, lube, and NightCap drink covers, which prevent drinks from being spiked. 

“I think safer sacks was a great idea and it was a complete success last year,” said Women’s Affairs Senator Emersyn Wolfe. “Many students also find it necessary to have lube and some of the other items in the safer sacks.”

Wolfe said it may not be necessary for everyone, but because many need lubricant for safe sex, it should be included in the sack. She said they are not pushing any item on students and they can take what they want.

Governmental Affairs Commissioner Dan Gordillo expressed concern with including lube in the kits, presenting an amendment to the budget resolution that would not include lubricant in safer sack kits. It did not pass.

“Speaking of my religious constituents here, because I have many different religious constituents, they may or may not be that comfortable with that,”  Gordillio said. 

Gordillio also voiced concerns about having Senate’s logo on the safer sacks.

“I’m not too sure how comfortable people might be with putting something such as lubricant, which is a little more racy, compared to condoms,” Gordillo said.  “I’d like to put this to the body and see what they think.” 

Following this proposal, senate members debated between having pre-lubricated condoms and lube in the kits. Other members also voiced opinions on the uses of lubricant and its importance for safe sex.

“People do things that you might not think of at first,” Willow Downard, LGBTQIA+ Commissioner said. “It’s very, very useful for some of these things. I think it being a safety option included in these sacks, along with generally just (students) knowing that they need it, is very important.”

Pabin spoke on the effect Cats’ Cupboard has had on students since opening. 

“Cats’ Cupboard is our food pantry that is located in 514 Baker on the fifth floor of Baker Center,” Pabin said. “It offers multiple food options to students, faculty and staff ranging from fresh, frozen and shelf-stable food,” 

Over 545 students signed up for the pantry’s services during the first four weeks of school, Pabin said. Burke says donations are always welcome and needed and can be dropped off either in the donation center or at the Cupboard’s office. 


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