The following is a statement from Dr. Roger L. Serr, vice president for student affairs, regarding the availability of Plan B on Shippensburg University’s campus.
In recent days, there have been many reports related to the availability of Plan B in Shippensburg University’s health center and it appears there are some misperceptions about the situation.
Several years ago, at the request of students, the university conducted a survey about health center services. Eighty-five percent of the respondents supported making Plan B available. We value student input on matters that directly pertain to their health and safety so these results were an important part of the decision-making process.
We are not the first one to make Plan B available so this is not unique to us or to public higher education. This decision was also made in consultation with our medical staff. Plan B is an over-the-counter medication for individuals 17 years old or older and, according to our records, all of our current full-time students are 17 or older. Any student who wants to discuss Plan B with a health care provider may do so at any time. In addition, medical information is provided with the Plan B for purchasers to read before its use.
The cost for the medication is paid by the purchasers. No state tax funds or student health fees are used for the medication. It is also made available at cost.
The machine, which vends only health-related items, is in a private room in our health center and the health center is accessible only by students. There is one machine only and the medication is not available anywhere else on campus. In addition, no one can walk in off the street and go into the health center. Students proceed to a check-in desk located in the lobby and after checking in using appropriate identification are granted access to the private treatment area.
The university is not encouraging anyone to be sexually active. That is a decision each student makes on his or her own. The university does strongly encourage all students to make wise and appropriate decisions in all aspects of their lives.
Reproductive services are a personal decision to be made by every man and woman. As such, the university is providing students with a medication that they can obtain legally elsewhere as part of their ability to make their own choices. The medication does come with explanatory details about the drug, its usage and effects. Medical staff is also always available for consultation before a purchase is made.
We will continue to work with our students to provide them with a wide range of academic, pastoral and personal counseling, and other support services while they are members of the Shippensburg University community.