By Jackie Burns
Ryerson students may be safer using Saran Wrap than condoms from the school’s vending machines.
The stickers on the machines—located in the men’s and women’s washrooms in Lower Jorgenson Hall— say the $1 Protex product will aid in preventing pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STDs).
But a turn of the condom machine’s rusty knob in the women’s washroom produces a rubber that expired in October of ’96.
“Using expired condoms would greatly increase the risk of contracting a disease or getting pregnant,” said Willy Trinidad, an STD nurse at Toronto Public Health.
Condoms should be stored in a dry, cool place, he said, which isn’t always consistent with the environment of a vending machine.
A pharmacist from Pharma Plus College Park said the shelf life of condoms is two to three years—which means Rye’s lubricated latexes have been sitting in the machines for at least that long.
Many students know not to use the condoms, which boast “delicately raised spirals for her greater stimulation and pleasure.”
Tom Duke, a 22-year-old journalism graduate, said during his four years at Ryerson he never used the machines, or knew of anyone who did.
“I’ll buy the yellow brand when it comes to orange juice or cereal, but if there’s one thing I’ll spend the big bucks on, it’s condoms,” he said.
Geeta Harma, a fourth-year environmental health student, said she would “never think” of using condoms from the machine.
“There’s no point in using the condoms if they’re expired,” she said.
Frank Cappadocia, former executive assistant for RyeSAC warned students not to use the sheaths.
“Go to the drug store if you’re going to buy them,” he suggested.
Some students prefer to go to the safe route and get their condoms at the school’s Health Centre.
Goretti Praticante, a lab technician at the centre, said a lot of students come in to pick up free condoms. She said she has to refill the bag of 150 condoms twice a week.