The University of California, Davis has students who not only recognize the importance of safe sex, but are pro-active about it. Now, the university has a vending machine that dispenses condoms, pregnancy tests and morning-after pills.
Parteek Singh, a senior at the university, had the idea two years ago of stocking vending machines with these useful items, instead of the usual late-night snacks and drinks, Mashable reports. The school finally implemented the idea earlier this month, installing a machine at the campus recreation center that’s open most of the day. Students can now avail of the contraceptives even after hours, when the student health center closes.
According to Singh, the idea came to him after a friend could not get any emergency contraception when she really needed it. The vending machine now dispenses these for $30. Singh added that using the vending machine might also be good for students who might not feel comfortable buying emergency contraception from a pharmacy.
“It’s just a machine,” Singh told television station KCRA. “It’s not going to give you any look or anything.”
There are only four universities in the country that sell emergency contraception in vending machines. Also called “Wellness to Go,” these also stock feminine hygiene products, allergy pills, pain relievers and other emergency relief items.
UC Davis initially rejected Singh’s proposal, but now fully supports the project. Singh said,
The more skeptical and negativity I got from people like ‘oh it’s not going to happen,’ kind of pushed me more.
Some students aren’t too happy about the initiative, with one saying, “It is promoting like ‘Oh hey, go and have unsafe sex because then you have a backup option and it’s gonna be cheaper than if you just wanna go to a drug store,” Jordan Herrera said in a report by WREG.
But for the most part, UC Davis students have welcomed the move. Cindy Schorzman, medical director of the university’s health and counseling services, said, “When a contraceptive method is missed or fails, this provides an option to reduce the risk of pregnancy from that.”