Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania offers amenities for students that are sure to become popular on other college campuses. Available in the school’s health center is a vending machine that dispenses the emergency contraceptive Plan B along with condoms and pregnancy tests – and nasal decongestants. (Decongestants certainly legitimize the machine as a health aid.)
The university says it does not profit from the sale of Plan B ($25 a pop) but it certainly must benefit from catering to the prurient interests of college-bound students. Rather than trying to instill outmoded values of sexual restraint and self discipline, it is much easier to just deal with the consequences of random, copious sexual activity.
One can easily imagine that penicillin will become the next popular, and necessary, item dispensed from the machine. In the not-too-distant future, medicinal marijuana will find its way into the machine and any remaining “no smoking” signs on campus will add an asterisk to allow its use – for health reasons, of course.
Sex on college campuses runs a very close second to drinking as the most popular activity. Perhaps it would be prudent to install beer vending machines in the dorms for the sole purpose of preventing students from driving under the influence. The school would not profit from the sale of beer, either, but enrollment may very well get a significant spike.
Remember this “health aid” vending machine when you find Shippensburg at the top of your college-bound daughter’s list of schools. It will give you a warm, cuddly feeling and ease the stress of watching her leave the nest for a higher education.
David J. Hentosh