Posted by Britt Shankle on ContraceptionBlog.com
Yesterday, on hundreds of college campuses nationwide, students were handed a Hershey's kiss with a free condom. This "Condom and a Kiss" campaign has been going on for several years and is a way for students who practice contraception or support it to spread their message and their products.
But yesterday Project Plus, the group of college kids I work with who have been actively spreading a message opposed to this mentality via posters and articles in the school newspaper, gave my alma mater a run for their contraception. Contradictory to the normally sexually spurred activities of Valentine's Day, we reached out to our peers with a message that "True Love is worth more than Contraception".
We had full sized Hershey's Chocolate Bars with that message on the front, and we handed them all out (360 bars) in less than 2 hours, even on a snow day for my small school which had canceled classes. Perhaps because of the snow, the "Condom and a Kiss" campaign that we hoped would be present did not show up. Butthere was still plenty of good conversations, and both positive and negative responses.
As students entered the popular student cafÃ©, we asked them if they would like a free chocolate bar. At first they thought we were trying to sell the chocolate for fundraising, so they would respond"No... wait, you said free?" The students were astonished that anyone would be handing out so much chocolate for free! And very grateful as well.
The theme of the chocolate bar give-away was "Without Contraception, You get so much more", an analogy pertaining to the tiny Hershey's Kisses that the "Condom and a Kiss" campaign hands out with their product, compared to full sized Hershey's bars we had. Inside the candy wrapper we explained this briefly, saying, "It makes sense that condoms are handed out today with nothing more than a tiny chocolate kiss. This reflects how little love you can express while using one. Using contraception tells your lover, 'I don't want to share every part of myself with you.'"
The Great Chocolate Giveaway was a complete success! The "Eagle's Nest" Cafe was buzzing with talk about contraception, and we had several people sign up for our (soon to come) newsletter, even people who didn't agree with our message. Girls (and guys) who disagreed with us, upon reading the front of the bar, would politely hand the chocolate back, or slip it back on the table, saying they couldn't take our free candy because they disagreed. There was only 1 girl who took the chocolate, read the pamphlet over her lunch, and then brought it back to use crumpled and torn as her way of saying that she disagreed. All in all, it was a wonderfully positive event!
Because of the massive ice storm that hit our portion of the east coast the night before, we were unable to poster campus with our "10 reasons why chocolate is better than contraception" until Valentine's night. However, all reports I've heard have been positive, so we'll call that one a complete sucess as well! Not to mention the nearly 100 hits to our little website in less than 3 hours!
Next year we hope that all the campuses involved with Project Plus will be participate in this Valentine's event.
Read more of Britt's posts at the No Room for Contraception blog