Geisel Library Rejects Proposal to Sell Plan B Pills in AS Vending Machine

Rishi Deka / The Triton

Geisel Library librarians rejected the proposal to begin selling generic Plan B pills in the Associated Students (AS) Essentials Vending Machine in the library on Wednesday.

The proposal for generic emergency contraceptive pills was submitted to Geisel Library for approval once it was finalized early in January. Associate University Librarian of Academic Services Catherine Friedman sent an email responding to the proposal on providing emergency contraceptives to students, citing support for student access to Plan B, but saying that Plan B does not fit in with the initial purpose of the vending machine.

“I can tell you have put a lot of thought into what you want to accomplish,” Friedman wrote in the email response. “And while I support student access to Plan B and its availability on campus during a wide range of hours, I need to let you know that I am not supportive of the use of the AS Essentials Vending Machine in Geisel Library to do this.”

AS Essentials, the vending machine inside of Geisel, is owned and operated by Associated StudentsUC San Diego (ASUCSD). But instead of selling the pills in the library vending machine, Friedman suggested relocating the vending machine itself, specifically to Price Center East.

“While we did consider your proposal to add Plan B, we feel that items available in this machine should continue to adhere to the original intent for having the machine in Geisel,” Friedman said.

Sixth College Senator Caroline Siegel-Singh, along with Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Wellness Karen Calfas and AS Associate Vice President of Services and Enterprises Ryan Moosighi, spearheaded the initiative to provide students easier access to emergency contraceptives.

“I have no idea why they rejected it,” said Singh. “I think our next move is allocate funding for a new machine, and approach the appropriate entities to get a wellness machine, including Plan B, in Price Center.”

UC Davis was the first UC campus to install a Plan B pill-dispensing machine on campus in the Arts and Recreation Center last April. Singh drew ideas for her proposal from UC Davis’ initiative, which mirrored the attempts of several universities across the nation who have begun providing such contraceptives to their students.

“If the library is unable to work with us and unwilling to let us provide additional services to UC San Diego students we can go through other avenues, “ Singh said.

Ella Chen is an Assistant News Editor at The Triton.