A student at U.C. Davis figured out how to make vending machines more awesome than they already are.
Instead of stocking them with snacks for late-night study sessions, senior Parteek Singh insisted on filling one campus vending machine with condoms, emergency contraception, and pregnancy tests.
It took two years, but Singh’s idea finally became a reality earlier this month when the school installed the machine at a campus recreation center that’s open most of the day. That comes in handy when the student health center closes after business hours.
Singh told the television station KCRA that he started pursuing the idea after a friend couldn’t get emergency contraception when she needed it. For $30, students can now buy it in the vending machine.
He thinks that easy access will help students who might feel nervous about getting emergency contraception from a pharmacy, where it’s available over-the-counter from staff.
Its just a machine,” Singh told KCRA. “Its not going to give you any look or anything.”
Its just a machine. Its not going to give you any look or anything.”
Only four universities in the country sell emergency contraception in a vending machine, according to Singh. The machine, otherwise known as “Wellness to Go,” stocks more than just sexual and reproductive health products. Students can also purchase feminine hygiene products, allergy pills, and pain relievers.
U.C. Davis, which originally rejected Singh’s proposal, supports the initiative.
“When a contraceptive method is missed or fails, this provides an option to reduce the risk of pregnancy from that,” Cindy Schorzman, medical director of the school’s student health and counseling services, told KCRA.
Mashable reached out to Singh via email, but he couldn’t talk because he was attending the campus’ annual spring picnic. Kudos to Singh for putting his hard-core school spirit to good use.
UPDATE: April 22, 2017, 2 p.m. PDT Updated to reflect Singh’s response to our inquiry.
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