Thursday, February 9, 2012

My take on Plan B

Shippensburg University, my Alma Mater, is getting a lot of press attention right now because of the revelation that there is a vending machine on campus that offers Plan B (a pill one can take after having unprotected sex, to avoid unwanted pregnancy).  The vending machine charges about 25$ which is the actual price of most Plan B pills that anyone can get at a pharmacy.  People are complaining about how it is inappropriate to offer this to students, acting as if Shippensburg is full of whores who use Plan B all the time, just by slipping a few bucks into a vending machine every day after slutting it up.  It's also gained a lot of attention because of people who do not approve of abortion, and Plan B can be easily described as an abortion pill.  Here is my take of the entire situation.

First off, I don't think there is anything wrong with having Plan B in vending machines on campus.  The vending machine in located in the health center on campus, the entire campus is not littered with vending machines containing this pill, so that a student can pick up a Twix bar and Plan B before their 8am class.  Students are required to sign in to the health center before even being allowed inside the facilities, and have to talk to the nurse and explain the situation before even being granted access to the vending machine. 

Second, I also feel there is nothing wrong with offering it to students.  Shippensburg is attempting to protect students, giving them the choice to help further their college careers if they have perhaps acted a little too hastily the night before.  These students are over eighteen and have the right to make their own decisions, and yes, they make mistakes.  But Shippensburg is giving students the chance to fix their mistakes.  *Note: I am not saying that conceiving is a mistake, just that perhaps a situation occurred that they are not proud of, or are not ready for, and giving students the option to take Plan B is helping them.*  Would Pennsylvania rather have a bunch of students dropping out of college because one foggy drunken night, they accidentally had sex without a condom and got knocked up, and end up going on welfare because they have to pay off their student loans, and can barely get a minimum wage job because of the current economy?  Not to mention, that it is not a big deal that they have them on campus, considering there are at least 4 pharmacies within a mile drive of Shippesburg University that offer Plan B as well.

The next thing I want to address is the fact that this vending machine has been in Etter for several years now, and yet suddenly is making headline news.  Why?  I'm really curious as to what events transpired to make this suddenly important enough to make Leno.  I wonder if it was some sort of lawsuit, or if maybe Shippensburg was just trying to improve their admission rates.

The point I want to make though is, everyone wants to hate on Shippensburg right now. (Actually a lot of alumni are stating they are proud of the university, but in the news we're getting only negative publicity).  Suddenly, now that people think we have done something wrong, we're making headline news.  But what about all the good that Shippensburg does.  Let's not talk about how Shippensburg has a pretty incredible education program, not to mention business, and other programs.  Let's not talk about how Shippensburg participates in Relay for Life every semester, and how the first year Shippensburg held Up Till Dawn (a philanthropy event that raises money for St. Judes Hospital) we raised over 19,000 dollars, and have improved from there.  I mean, I know that is nothing compared to the million dollars that Penn State raises with Thon, but still for how small our campus is, I was quite proud.  We have billboards around that promote the Mentorship, Internships, etc. that truly are the foundation of our campus, and yet our Plan B vending machine is what everyone wants to pay attention to?  It's ludicrous what people will do to get a good story, and to create shock and awe so that they get more noticed.  I am proud to be a Shippensburg University alumni, but sad that there are people in this world who cannot see the great things that the campus has to offer, and would rather concentrate on something that to me, isn't worth controversy.

To those people who wish to control everything about everyone, including their choice of what kind of future they want, well, perhaps your parents should've taken Plan B.

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