College Board Revises AIDS Guidelines
The Ventura County Community College District Board has--after two years of debate--approved revised AIDS guidelines that leave the issue of condom distribution largely up to the individual campuses.
The district has been revising the AIDS guidelines and AIDS policy since 1991, when some trustees challenged the college district’s existing policy endorsing condom-dispensing machines in college restrooms.
A product of the district’s AIDS task force, the new guidelines are intended to spell out the district’s AIDS policy, a more philosophical guide to dealing with the issues. The trustees approved the current AIDS policy in August.
The guidelines originally produced by the task force left the issue of condom purchase and distribution completely in the hands of Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges.
But at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, as the board members took up the AIDS guidelines in front of a nearly empty room, Trustee Gregory P. Cole submitted an amendment stating that no condoms paid for with public funds could be distributed on campus.
“I don’t think the public should be paying for something that is clearly a student responsibility,” Cole said.
The amendment passed 4 to 1, with Trustee Pete Tafoya voting against the amendment because he wanted an exception made for student government funds. The other trustees said an exception was not needed because student government funds are not considered public funds.
District and college officials say this will not substantially change the situation on the three campuses, where any purchase of condoms has usually been through student health fees. Student fees are also not considered public funds.
The guidelines themselves also passed 4 to 1. Trustee Karen Boone, whose amendment stressing prevention was voted down, voted against the guidelines.