On Sept. 27, Fox News reported that “Birth control is now just as easy to get as a candy bar.” In that vein, a recent addition to Stanford University was the installation of a vending machine with emergency contraceptive products. Though this is likely to have been a progressive reaction to student complaints about their limited availability, there are at the same time foreseeable conundrums that can be anticipated, but still remain completely insubstantial so far. People seem to be afraid of the encouragement of risky behavior, the magnification of such is apparently due to easily accessible contraceptives.
For simplicity’s sake, one can consider most people sexually active. The vending machine gives no excuse to anyone fr failing to protect themselves from unplanned parenthood. The irony in this situation is that people are questioning the risk factor, when in fact, the machines are there to prevent the risk itself. Colleges can be considered a transitionary place for a lot of young people into adulthood. For people to deny the natural rules of attraction, they are giving in to the negative connotations associated with sex. To pretend that young college students are not going to engage in sexual activity, is an ineffective means to eliminate risk.
It is impossible for a student to avoid the risks involved with sex if they were not given awareness of the risks in the first place. Left to their own devices, students would perhaps risk safety for the feeling of a fleeting moment. It is paradoxical to claim sex is dangerous while at the same time denying people protection from its consequences. Additionally, to expect abstinence is naïve at best and life-altering at worst. Were it the case that an uniformed student had become pregnant, they would struggle in maintaining their place at the university. Stanford’s efforts are extended to directly protect the student’s personal life so that perhaps with the help of the easily accessible contraceptives, they can encourage a healthy personal life for their students. Granted, not all students, with or without awareness will be safe, but at least they have the option of protection.
When reflecting on Baruch and the measures the school takes to promote safe sex, the efforts are adequate but can undeniably be improved. Not much awareness has been created for the connections through the health center for contraception. Beside the available condoms and lubricants that are distributed by the health center and various health-centered clubs, contraceptives seem to need to be sought out by the student rather than made openly available. That is certainly not as convenient and accessible as if they were sold from vending machines.