Colleges statewide have taken steps to educate and raise awareness about monkeypox, a virus with over 21,900 cases nationally. At Wesleyan University, for example, an e-mail was sent to all students that provides links to the university’s health services website explaining the virus and how to access counseling and vaccines, if needed. Other colleges, such as Yale University, the University of Connecticut and Southern Connecticut State University, have web pages dedicated to information on monkeypox. Nationally, there have been a handful of cases reported at various colleges, but none among Connecticut college students. Overall, as of Sept. 12, there were 21,985 cases of monkeypox reported in the U.S., and 113 cases in Connecticut, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania and other states, students on some college campuses can purchase the “morning-after” pill from vending machines. But students in Connecticut don’t have that option because Connecticut is the only state that prohibits the sale of any over-the-counter medications in vending machines, according to the American Society for Emergency Contraceptives. The emergency contraceptive, commonly called Plan B, has been approved for purchase for those 15 and older without a prescription since 2013. Before that, a prescription was required for teenagers 17 and younger. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in June, there’s been a flurry of activity across the country to protect reproductive rights.
Connecticut is a state in need of a fix. In the awful event of a rape or sexual assault at a university or college there is no guarantee that the victim will be treated as she should be (“she” because the vast majority of campus rapes are committed by men, against women). The crime of rape is horrible. The reaction of schools is too often equally so. Earlier this month, the same day Hartford’s Harriet Beecher Stowe Center held a public conversation on campus violence, a state legislative committee approved a bill that would improve schools’ responses to rape and intimate partner violence on campuses.