By Ethan Vaughan, Asst. News Editor
Employees at the Office of Alcohol, Drugs and Health Education (OADHE) were stumped last week when, for the second time this school year, unidentified thieves stole hundreds of condoms and other contraceptives from the clinic.
“I have no idea [why this happened],” said Danielle Lapierre, assistant director of the OADHE. “[The condoms] are free.”
The most recent incident happened on Tuesday between 3:30 and 4 p.m., and was apparently part of a coordinated effort.
“The students said they had arranged with me to take the entire supply,” said Lapierre, a generalist who speaks with students about safe sex. “The receptionist told them to double check with me.”
The two young men, described as East Asian and Caucasian, then walked to the back of the clinic and returned to the front, indicating to the official on duty that they had met with Lapierre when in fact no such meeting took place.
“When I came back, the entire basket was gone,” Lapierre said. “But there was this one lonely little lube [bottle] left.”
Lapierre filed a report with the Mason Police, listing the items stolen as condoms, lubricants and dental dams.
While the police department is currently investigating, leads have not been forthcoming.
“They were looking at footage from the cameras in SUB I, but somehow none of them saw a big basket full of condoms leaving,” said Lapierre.
A similar episode took place last fall, when an unidentified student walked into the clinic, dumped the entire box into their backpack, and walked out, taking with them “at least 700 condoms.”
“Come on, 700?” Lapierre questioned. “Nobody needs that many.”
For a time, contraceptives were not available at the front of the clinic, but this became an issue when students started coming to Lapierre’s office at all times of the day, “searching in nooks and crannies for condoms.”
Lapierre theorized that the perpetrators may have been assisted because the condoms were located in a corner of the clinic not readily visible to employees.
“We should probably work on that,” Lapierre said.
In the meantime, OADHE is looking into a condom dispenser from a South African company called Mr. Willy. The machine would allow individuals to take two free condoms at a time.
Lapierre said her top priority was to continue providing free contraceptives to students in an effort to promote safe sex on campus. Lapierre cited a continuing need for sex implements among the student population.
“The box empties really quickly,” she said, “especially around Spring Break and any holidays. And blizzards.”
While she expressed no ill-will toward the guilty parties, she said it was important that they realized the error of their ways.
“You just can’t steal things,” Lapierre explained.
“Right now the condoms are out there in my cookie jar, and I’m going to be more upset if they take [the jar] because I love that thing.”