Flowers to female Bradley U. students say “You’re worth waiting for”

Bradley University female students leaving a program earlier this month called “Sex Ed Bingo” were greeted by more than two dozen male students handing out flowers bearing a Bible verse and the message “You’re worth waiting for.”

The students waiting outside the Markin Center represented the St. Joseph’s Catholic Newman Center, the newly formed Guardian of the Redeemer Council of the Knights of Columbus on campus, and other campus organizations.

Jacob Laskowski, a Fellowship of Catholic University Students missionary who was among those who formulated the plan, called the “gauntlet of men” not a protest, but a response emphasizing the dignity of women.

At the event, attendees played Bingo using freely distributed condoms as markers. A Planned Parenthood representative spoke on correct condom usage.

“We brainstormed positive ways to share the beauty, goodness, and truth of the best kind of sex out there — sex within marriage,” said Anne Marie Dust, a student organizer and Newman Center member. She recalled having read a story in Columbia, the Knights of Columbus magazine, detailing how a college council left vases of roses with the message “You’re worth waiting for” on the tables of campus cafeterias on Valentines Day.

The plan was tweaked for the Bradley evening and word was spread. The Knights donated $75 for flowers and a local florist also supported the effort. Dust was one of 15 young women praying the rosary in the Newman Center chapel that evening as the men distributed the flowers and message.

Students living in dormitories were expected to attend “Sex Ed Bingo,” which featured a Bingo game using condoms as markers and a presentation by a Planned Parenthood representative. Students could be excused if they wrote a paper on sexually transmitted diseases.

Father Brian Brownsey, chaplain and director of St. Joseph’s Catholic Newman Center, told The Catholic Post he was proud of his students.

“We have some amazing young men and women at the St. Joseph Newman Center for our student leaders,” he said.

Prior to their participation, Father Brownsey explained to the young men that St. Joseph’s staff is depicted as sprouting a lily to symbolize man’s vocation to be the protector of women’s purity. “I told the men that as they stood there holding out the flowers, I would be envisioning them holding out St. Joseph’s staff as I placed them under his patronage.”
Kyle Dodge, a freshman who handed out roses, said the most of the female students were surprised and appreciative.

“From a woman’s perspective, I know that coming out of any place to see 25 young men holding flowers would both flatter me and put a smile on my face,” said Dust.

The Bible verse on the note was John 15:12-13; “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down on’es life for one’s friends.”

Dust said that concerned students hope to have a Natural Family Planning speaker as part of the program next year, or have it done away with altogether.

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