Confusion over condoms sale on campus, NUS responds

A message regarding the sale of condoms on a university campus blew up online, but it did not stretch very long.

The issue came about on Monday 4 February when an administrator for the NUS Confessions Facebook page – which encourages students to share secrets or experiences on campus anonymously – put up a post saying that an on-campus Guardian health store was the only place to buy condoms at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The post read: “This is an announcement for all the lusty couples and hook ups out there. The only place you can buy condoms in NUS is at the new Guardian at EduSports. Stay safe!” 

Shortly after, the administrator for the page announced that all the condoms on the shelf were empty.

A follow-up comment on the same post by the administrator read: “More public service announcements from our friends: ‘someone tried to advertise for the condoms sold at guardian. No need for that because morning after pills cost only $1+ at UHC (University Health Centre).’”

The day after, a Facebook user “Low Zoey” posted a picture of the shelf filled with shaver and toothpaste products with the backing label “Family Planning” covered up with blank white paper.

The picture which caused a stir among online users. The words ‘Family Planning’ were covered up with white paper (Photo: Low Zoey Facebook profile)

It caused quite the stir with online users circulating the image.

As one Facebook user “Chinmaya Joshi” said: “So NUS, which method of contraception do you prefer, condoms or abortions?”

On 6 February, the NUS Students’ Union Facebook page announced that the matter was a “miscommunication” and said that there is no such rule that bans the sale of condoms on campus grounds.

“Given that the NUS campus is open to the public, there is no need for the University to impose such a rule on campus,” the message read.

It added: “The Union neither endorses nor opposes the sale of condom on campus given the diverse views on this matter. However, we would like to advise all Union members, as responsible and mature adults, to take the necessary steps to safeguard your health and well-being.”

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Dairy Farm Singapore, which runs the Guardian chain, told TODAY newspaper that the condoms were removed on Monday at the request of NUS management.

According to the article, they said they were “given the impression then that sales of such products were prohibited within the NUS campus”.

However, after discussions with NUS, the company said it was allowed to go ahead with sales.

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