After about two semesters’ worth of planning to install a wellness dispensary for emergency contraceptives and other sexual health products at Pomona College, it remains uncertain when the vending machine might arrive and whether it would be available to students from the other four Claremont Colleges.
“The timeline is a bit nebulous at this point, although I’m hoping we might have it up and running in the early part of second semester,” Christopher Waugh, Director of the Smith Campus Center, wrote in an e-mail to TSL.
Pomona, Claremont University Consortium (CUC) staff, student leaders of the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC), and the Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault are represented on a committee dedicated to the installation project.
Because the machine will contain the contraceptive Plan B, it must be linked to a specific doctor with a California license to purchase the drug in bulk. Waugh wrote that the committee is currently working with the Health Education Outreach and Student Health Services divisions of CUC to determine whose license will be used.
ASPC President Darrell Jones III PO ’14 said that the committee expects to get state approval to keep the machine supplied with Plan B, but he does not know how soon permission will be granted.
Jones also said that Plan B will not be the only product that students can buy from the machine.
“We would like to have high-quality sexual aids such as condoms, lubes,” he said. “Toys perhaps could be a possibility.”
“This initiative is one that attempts to promote a holistic brand of wellness,” he added.
Jones said that the machine might eventually be available to students across the consortium, but ASPC will not advertise it to non-Pomona students at first. Although student-body presidents at the other Claremont Colleges have expressed interest in the project, they have not committed to contribute funding.
“We want this to be a trial run with Pomona first and foremost and then it will be a soft launch to the community,” Jones said. From there, student body leaders at the other schools could decide whether it would be worthwhile to contribute funding or promote the machine at their schools.
Waugh wrote that the committee is planning to install the machine in the Advocates Lounge on the second floor of Walker Hall, which still needs to be converted into a usable lounge before anything can be placed there.
Waugh added that the committee does not yet know how much the machine will cost or who will be involved in managing it. Pomona will take the lead in funding the project but hopes that sales from the machine will eventually cover its cost, he wrote.
Jones said that the committee hopes to break even on Plan B and use the revenue from other products to offset the operating costs of the machine.
Students will be able to use cash to purchase products from the machine without compromising their privacy or creating a record of purchase, Waugh wrote.