Despite the high level of academic excellence at the University of Notre Dame, there is an embarrassing lack of sexual education and resources on campus. Condoms are not sold in the Huddle or at University Health Services, one has to jump through an excessive number of hoops in order to get birth control, and the idea of accessing Plan B on campus is a joke. This shortage of resources harms the sexual health outcomes of Notre Dame students. Not only does it almost encourage STD/STIs to spread, but it also creates a culture of silence and shame surrounding sex. There is an obvious gaping hole in the supporting students’ wellbeing on campus in the realm of reproductive health. That’s where Irish for Reproductive Health steps in. Below is an excerpt from our website:
Irish for Reproductive Health is a volunteer, student-led, nonprofit organization that unapologetically supports the right to reproductive health and advocates for reproductive justice. Our goal is to expand access to sexual health resources and information at the University of Notre Dame and our surrounding community.
This year, I4RH is working to increase the distribution of resources across campus and strengthen our presence as a group in our Notre Dame community. We will be holding meetings once a month where group members can surround themselves with a community of individuals who are passionate about reproductive rights in addition to important information about the status of reproductive justice in our local community and in the US at large.
In the organization, members have the opportunity to focus on aspects of reproductive justice that they are most passionate about. Whether that is distributing resources or collaborating with other student organizations, I4RH has four focus groups that members can participate in. These groups include:
- Distribution: manage the distribution of sexual resources on campus.
- Events: organize and plan events, protests, and socials that promote our organization and raise awareness about reproductive justice.
- Design: create infographics, stickers, and more items that promote I4RH and spread information in a compelling way
- Community Outreach: collaborate with student and local organizations
In addition to the distribution focus group, members have the opportunity to become distribution representatives for their dorms. Dorm reps are an essential part of I4RH because they provide important resources for all ND students. Dorm representatives are provided with supplies and support to distribute to their local dorm community.
Another essential part of our organization is our office hours. We hold office hours on a monthly basis to provide the opportunity for students and dorm representatives to stock up on sexual health supplies.
We have lots of exciting plans in the works in hopes of providing access to resources for ND students and raising awareness about the importance of reproductive justice. Some projects for this academic year include sex-ed talks in Notre Dame residence halls, a podcast discussing any questions students may have about reproductive health, and various distribution events for holidays.
If you are interested in getting involved in I4RH, please do not hesitate to contact us! If you are looking for access to general resources, feel free to also reach out and/or fill out the request form.
Also feel free to reach out on our Instagram @irish4reprohealth! If you want any stickers to help promote our org and make your water bottle or laptop really stand out, let us know!