Shippensburg does the responsible thing by offering Plan B

Devoni Novak, Assistant News Editor

I disagree with those who criticize Shippensburg University for offering Plan B in a vending machine. College is a time of experimentation and people sometimes get a little crazy. As young adults, students often don’t think of the consequence until it is staring them straight in the face. But why should someone’s entire life change because of a single mistake? I think Shippensburg offering this second chance to their students is not only acceptable but responsible.

If a nurse where to simply hand the pill over, I feel that no one would think negatively about it. However, because it is offered in a vending machine, the public has this nasty image that they now correlate with Shippensburg University. I would like to clarify the cheap picture many have of vending machines all over Shippensburg’s campus where students can buy a Coke, a snickers and if needed the morning after pill. In fact, there is only one vending machine that sells Plan B at Shippensburg and it is located in a private room inside the university’s health center.

In my opinion the health center using a vending machine to distribute Plan B preserves the discretion of students. Instead of having to ask a nurse, which could be embarrassing, a student can inconspicuously purchase the drug. Jimmy Chadwick, an entrepreneurship major who graduated this past December from Shippensburg believes the machine is a good idea.

“I think the machine is a great way to allow those in need of Plan B to buy it more discreetly and maintain privacy,” Chadwick said.

According to, the morning after pill can be legally obtained at any pharmacy without a prescription as long as the purchaser is 17 years or older. Because the machine is offered in the university’s health center, only students have access and according to their latest records, all students enrolled at Shippensburg are 17 and over. So why shouldn’t the university be able to supply the morning after pill to their students? Campus health care facilities are able to administer other medications such as antibiotics which need a prescription. If campus health centers are able to provide prescription drugs, then they should be able to provide medications that don’t call for a prescription as well. It’s just common sense.

The FDA has questioned whether or not proper medical advisory has been given to those who have purchased the pill at Shippensburg. In my opinion this argument is weak because any purchase of Plan B comes with medical information inside the package. Also the machine is located in the health center where medical aids are always on duty. Not only does information come with each purchase, but any student who wishes to seek further advice is in the proper place to do so as soon as the pill reaches their hands.

Providing Plan B in their health center’s vending machine does not encourage unsafe sex but instead allows students to make responsible choices according to their own beliefs. The same machine also provides condoms and pregnancy tests so students are not swayed by any one products availability. The University is merely making over the counter products more easily available to their sexually active students.