A slightly controversial story at a college not too far from McDaniel made national news recently. At Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, students now have access to the contraceptive pill known as Plan-B, or “the morning-after pill”, in a simple vending machine style dispenser in their Health Center.
“It surprised me that the media made such a big deal out of it, but I guess it’s something that people have distinct opinions about,” said Carol Genesee, a junior at SU.
Plan-B comes at the cost of only $25 to Shippensburg students, and though it may be acquired free-of-charge at many local clinics, this price is significantly lower than other prices offered over the counter by local pharmacies (up to $60!).
Students may feel more comfortable purchasing this form of contraception from a vending machine, rather than doing so in front of a line of families at Walmart or after having to sit through a meeting with a clinician. By removing the embarrassing stigma usually associated with this product, students at Shippensburg may be more able to avoid teen pregnancies.
“It can be really embarrassing, people can be terribly judgmental of you when they hear what you’re buying,” said Jessica Dawes, a local resident of Westminster.
On the other end of the issue, however, are the religious communities and other prolife critics who believe in abstinence as the only accepted contraceptive method.
“Abstinence may not be for everyone, but it is what my faith has taught me to uphold,” says Christian activist Derek Carr.
Students at McDaniel have no access to the morning-after pill on campus, and instead must look to local pharmacies and clinics.
At the McDaniel Wellness Center, students have access to free condoms located in a basket near the door. However, McDaniel senior John Gamble warns, “don’t grab too many or they’ll yell at you!”