Campus / News / February 26, 2014

Plan B not readily available on campus

(Griffin Belzer/TKS)

(Griffin Belzer/TKS)

Members of the Sexual Assault Resource Reform Coalition, including Associate Dean of Students Laura Schnack, have been examining various options of readily available methods of birth control and discussing the issue with members in top positions of the administration. Any specific plans are still in the very early stages of development and may not necessarily happen.

Rumors of a supposed Plan B vending machine was the impetus for Schnack to clarify the matter.

“I’m not sure where this misconception [came from] that we’re looking into Plan B vending machines, but it’s not necessarily something that is going to happen. It is in a larger context of assessing the needs of students and where we need to go forward.”

SARRC has only been in the talks of using specific methods to evaluate the needs of students “as far as health and wellness goes,” as Schnack mentioned.

Using the American College Health Assessment Survey, SARRC will examine the health needs of the students on campus. This benchmark survey will allow for SARRC to investigate routes of fulfilling those needs.

In reference to what influenced SARRC to discuss avenues such as Plan B vending machines, Schnack said “some ideas were brainstormed through SARRC, as we’re looking for resources  —  especially regarding sexual assault and sexual misconduct issues on campus. The desire for more readily available forms of Plan B have been talked about.”

Schnack went on to mention that SARRC has been looking at other, much larger schools that have implemented similar methods of birth control for ideas.

Schnack pointed to key figures at Knox who have been involved in the discussion, such President Teresa Amott, Associate Dean of the College Lori Schroeder and Director of Health Services Dan Larson. Schnack reiterated that the conversations have been brief since “it’s so early in the process right now that it’s been more about research and looking at the larger picture than having really in-depth conversations with anyone.”

Schroeder stated that SARRC member and senior Gabrielle Rajerison had spoken to her about a Plan B vending machine after a task force meeting on sexual assault. Schroeder went on to say that she brought the matter to President Amott but that she currently does not know where the project stands.

The ACHA, a national organization that benchmarks student wellness at various institutions, reported in its spring 2013 findings that 1.8 percent of college students who had vaginal intercourse within the previous 12 months reported experiencing an unintentional pregnancy or getting someone pregnant within the previous 12 months. Moreover, 16.1 percent of sexually active college students reported using or their partner using emergency contraception within the previous 12 months. Overall, 55.6 per cent of college students reported using a method of contraception.

Schnack stated that SARRC would not be utilizing the ACHA assessment until early in the spring term of this academic year to gauge to needs of the students.

Editor’s note: Gabrielle Rajerison is a copy editor for TKS.

Tags:  Contraception plan b saarc vending machine

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