A.S. Council is modifying its original plan of selling generic Plan B pills in the A.S. Essentials in Geisel Library machines after the Associate University Librarian of Academic Services Catherine Friedman denied the proposal on Jan. 24. Based on an agreement with the University Centers Advisory Board, a “Wellness Vending Machine” will now be placed in Price Center that contains other items to help promote student health such as condoms and pregnancy tests in addition to the emergency contraceptive.
In her email to Sixth College A.S. Senator Caroline Siegel-Singh and A.S. Associate Vice President of Services and Enterprises Ryan Moosighi rejecting their proposal, Friedman stated that “while we did consider your proposal to add Plan B, we feel that items available in this machine should continue to adhere to the original intent for having the machine in Geisel.”
According to Friedman, the purpose of the vending machine was primarily to offer affordable school supplies.
“The reason we considered [the vending machine’s] placement in the first place was because we wanted to support [A.S. Council’s] efforts to offer students convenient access to standard academic supplies at an economical price,” Friedman wrote.
Siegel-Singh, however, hoped that offering the pills in the Geisel machines would make them easier to obtain.
“Many first and second years have limited access to contraceptive products because it can be hard to find transportation off campus,” Siegel-Singh told the UCSD Guardian. “Emergency contraceptive loses effectiveness the longer you wait so I’m hoping this can be utilized by students who would otherwise be unable to access products for their reproductive health.”
Friedman went on to propose Price Center East as an alternative location for A.S. Council to sell the Plan B pills, which is where UCAB has agreed for the vending machine to be installed.
The machine will be in operation 24 hours per day, even when Price Center itself is closed, and will likely be put in sometime this quarter.
As originally planned, the Plan B pills will be sold at a reduced price of around $20, made more affordable by the fact that the pills are the generic version and can only be bought with Triton Cash. According to CBS8, the cost of the vending machine itself is being financed by both the student activity fee and funding from the office of Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Wellness Karen Calfas.
The installation of the Wellness Vending Machine will make UC San Diego the third UC campus to offer Plan B through a vending machine after UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara.