You Want Some Plan B With Those Skittles?

On September 18th CMC students received an email glorifying a new vending machine in Pomona’s Walker Hall Lounge. The machine, which is accessible to students from all the 5Cs, is subtly located on the second floor of the lounge. While the machine does offer innocuous items such as Neosporin and aspirin, it also features a multitude of sexual health products, ranging from condoms and KY jelly to male vibrators. Most notably, students now have 24/7 access to the form of birth control known as Plan B, or the morning after pill.

5C students have long been able to purchase Plan B from the Student Health Center without having to schedule an appointment beforehand. However, college vending machines that dispense the morning after pill are a novel concept. Just over a year ago in January of 2013, the FDA permitted Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania to continue offering Plan B in vending machines on campus. Pomona College is very likely one of the few colleges in the country to offer this type of resource to students.

The Claremont Colleges are undoubtedly a melting pot for socially liberal causes. Last spring, Pitzer College Senate seriously debated adopting a resolution to permit public nudity on campus. This fall CMC shed its image as a LGBT “pariah” and now offers a gender-neutral housing option for students. The Queer Resource Center recently sponsored a “Kink 101 Workshop” that was held on September 27th. Suffice it to say that Pomona’s recent decision to institute a Plan B vending machine comes as no big surprise.

As a socially conservative student, I fundamentally disagree with all of the aforementioned policy changes, for both moral and religious reasons. However, this does not necessarily mean that I would blindly impose my personal beliefs on others and call for the abolition of these resources and events. I value individual liberty, and believe people should have the autonomy to govern their own lifestyles. However, I do take issue with CMC’s embrace of this latest liberal crusade.

The email from CMC’s Dean of Students Office introducing the vending machine was filled with bias. Whether it was the opening line of “I am pleased to announce another new resource available to you!” or the proclamation that “Pomona College has graciously opened up this resource to students from all of the colleges,” it was implicitly evident where DOS stood on the issue.

What was perhaps even more surprising was how the email casually included Plan B in the list of products available in the new vending machine. It was as if DOS was completely oblivious to the fact that offering products such as Plan B and vibrators was a drastic change in policy for any college.

The administration’s nonchalant introduction of the new Plan B vending machine is indicative of a larger problem that plagues college campuses: the voice of prudence and reason is too often compromised at the expense of the latest liberal social experiment. We should have a rigorous, meaningful discussion regarding such a drastic change in policy before it is prematurely declared to be a positive force on campus.

When a female makes the decision to use Plan B, she accepts the possibility that she is preventing a fertilized egg from being implanted on the uterine wall. Individuals who believe life begins at conception equate this to abortion, a viewpoint that was recently legitimized by the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case.

The permanent and irreversible nature of using Plan B affords no room for regret. This means that students who view Plan B as a form of abortion (or eventually come to hold this view), yet decide to use it anyway, may potentially subject themselves to emotional distress in the future. This is not an unfathomable scenario, as one’s life-outlook is often radically different at age forty as opposed to age twenty.

Using Plan B also carries serious health considerations. The morning after pill is not a typical over-the-counter medication like Advil or Tylenol. It is a highly concentrated dose of hormones that can significantly alter a female’s menstrual cycle. Dr. David Grimes, who spoke before an FDA advisory committee in 2003, said that, “Repeated use of EC wreaks havoc on a woman’s cycle.”

The 24/7 access afforded by a vending machine is a dangerous proposition. The resulting effect is that students will no longer be bound by the time constraints of having to obtain Plan B from the Student Health Center or a local pharmacy. Assuming that most sexual activity occurs at night, students are usually forced to at least wait until the next morning to obtain and subsequently use Plan B. The instant accessibility of the vending machine will decrease the likelihood that students will consider the aforementioned consequences of using emergency contraception.

Regardless of whether you believe Plan B is morally permissible, the decision to use the morning after pill should not be made lightly. This is why a vending machine that dispenses Plan B is a disservice to students. It inherently trivializes what should be a very serious decision.

CMC’s decision to support Pomona’s new Plan B vending machine is more than just the college taking a firm stance on a highly divisive issue. CMC is compromising its students’ ability to make safe, informed choices regarding a serious health issue. But in the midst of all the kink workshops, calls for public nudity, and efforts to nullify gender classification, who has time to notice?

78 thoughts on “You Want Some Plan B With Those Skittles?”

  1. If you don’t think this decision was carefully considered (it took over a year to implement, actually) and vetted by students from a variety of organizations as well as administrators and healthcare professionals, you clearly haven’t done your research. If you think people who need contraception need to be subject to waiting periods and “regret,” you’re assuming we’re not thoughtful human beings unless someone forces us to be, or that we should be somehow punished for having sex. Since most people who use Plan B are women…please stop demeaning women’s intellect and reasoning skills and assuming you know better about our own bodies than we do.

  2. First, I want to say I like how the author wrote, ” However, this does not necessarily mean that I would blindly impose my personal beliefs on others and call for the abolition of these resources and events. I value individual liberty, and believe people should have the autonomy to govern their own lifestyles.”

    But there are two huge problems here. One is what the commenter suggested: “If you think people who need contraception need to be subject to waiting periods and “regret,” you’re assuming we’re not thoughtful human beings unless someone forces us to be.” This is the vibe I felt through the entire article…the assumption that women don’t take the time to think about their options.

    The other problem is a double standard. Why are you only critiquing the placement of Plan B in the machines and not condoms? You write, “When a female makes the decision to use Plan B, she accepts the possibility that she is preventing a fertilized egg from being implanted on the uterine wall.” Well guess what, when a man makes the decision to use a condom he accepts the possibility that he is preventing his sperm from fertilizing an egg. Is it because you consider Plan B an abortion but condoms not to be? I do not think this is enough of an argument. You argue she may regret taking it because her views may change. What if a man’s views change and he regrets using condoms or even having premarital sex? So shouldn’t we ban condoms too? If you say women should wait to get the morning after pill shouldn’t we have to have a waiting period for condoms in case that man regrets having sex? Shouldn’t he really think about it before he just casually grabs one from his RA or a vending machine? Please answer these questions.

    Also FYI, do you know that natural spontaneous abortions happen all the time? Do you know that 70ish percent of fertilized eggs never even implant? For the fertilized eggs that do implant, not all of them become babies. Some abort. If we don’t consider these occurrences to be a tragedy and an abortion why do we consider it to be a tradgedy and an abortion when it is Plan B that causes it not to implant? I’m not being sarcastic here…I’m truly wondering what the socially conservative explanation to this question is.

    1. Beyond Absurd commentary. First of all, nowhere in this article does Mr. Arnold state that we should ban Plan B. He is merely critiquing the idea that some women will now have less time and motivation to really consider the health and moral effects of taking plan B, because of the frankly somewhat crude presentation of it in a literal vending machine next to machines full of Gatorade and snickers. I emphasize the word some specifically because i very much doubt that Mr. Arnold was in anyway trying to assert that all women are somehow incapable of being confident in their decision to take plan B. However, it is undoubtedly a fact that not everyone is sure of their decision to take because of the reality that plan B is a serious decision to make and there are many facets both health related and religiously or morally related to consider (again, only in some cases).
      As for your ridiculous point that condoms are the same as using plan B, it is almost comical that you believe the difference between an egg actually being fertilized (as it could be during unprotected sex) and an egg being prevented from fertilization (as it would be if a condom was used) are the same thing. The entire argument of those who believe plan B is a form of abortion only believe that because the egg has potentially already been fertilized.
      Furthermore Just because some pregnancies are naturally miscarried does not mean that they are not thought to be tragedies. But, there is a large difference between the word abort and the word miscarry. The only point that this article is trying to make is that choosing to potentially abort a pregnancy is not a decision that should be make without some sort of serious consideration. Mr. Arnold is in no way condemning the use of Plan B, no one is, however, it is worth a minute of everyone’s time to consider the culture of irresponsible (unsafe) promiscuity, where picking up your plan B is no longer a last resort, but rather something you can get along with your afternoon snack.

  3. Let’s apply the same logic to condoms:

    24/7 access of condoms is a dangerous proposition. He will no longer be bound by the time constraints of having to obtain Plan B from the Student Health Center of local pharmacy. Having no time constraint means the man may make an impulse decision on having sex and using a condom. Having premarital sex and using birth control are irreversible decisions. This may cause emotional distress in the future because the man may come to believe that he is against premarital sex and any form of contraception. This is not an unfathomable scenario, as one’s life-outlook is often radically different at age forty as opposed to age twenty.

    1. Arielle,
      Condoms are not the same as Plan B in that Plan B can prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine lining and thus prevent development of that fertilized egg. Condoms prevent fertilization. Thus, someone who believes that “life begins at conception” would not regret using a condom, but could potentially regret using Plan B.

      1. A person who believes that life begins at conception should also not be having premarital sex nor using any kind of birth control, including condoms. Don’t be a hypocrite.

        1. That’s pretty ridiculous. There are plenty of secular reasons to be pro-life. It doesn’t follow that, if one is pro-life, then they also must practice abstinence and condemn any form of birth control for religious reasons.

          1. Actually, it is not ridiculous. More than half of all zygotes never implant. Every act of sex carries some risk of pregnancy which in turn carries a high risk of early undetectable miscarriage. If you believe life begins at conception, those statistics take on a much more sinister implication.

      2. Alec,
        There are people who believe that even using condoms is wrong because sex should only be for reproduction. Arielle’s point is completely valid because the author’s argument is that someone could change their mind and in the future believe that Plan B = abortion = evil. It is just as likely/ridiculous/relevant to this topic that a guy could in the future believe that any contraception is evil and regret using a condom.

        1. You’re right, I completely misread Arielle’s comment. I was explaining something that she clearly already understood, my bad.

        2. The amount of guilt or regret that one would feel for changing their views on whether sex should be only for reproductive purposes is negligible to what one would feel if they thought they had killed their child. We are allowed to treat different phenomena differently in crafting reasonable policies. We can make value judgments.

          1. Citing potential future guilt as a reason to prevent women from having easy access to medicine that is most effective when taken quickly does not sound like the route to crafting a reasonable policy though, now does it?

            There’s a chance we could all become Christian Scientists in the future and regret ever taking any medicine. Does that mean we should weigh that possibility every time we take an aspirin? Should we have a required waiting period before taking medicine to think about the potential future guilt we will experience if we change our fundamental beliefs in the future?

            This author’s argument is equally ridiculous.

          2. The comparison is still inapt. Post-abortion regret is a very real phenomenon that bears special consideration, unlike the condom and Christian Science examples. One potential policy that has been suggested to combat this phenomenon is more stringent policies concerning the accessibility of abortifacients. Just because one particular product or behavior bears this sort of heightened scrutiny from a policy point of view does not mean that all must. This is not a matter of principled consistency best left to debate in your philosophy classes.

            I’m not advocating for any stance here by pointing out that your argument is not persuasive. You are free to disagree with the suggested policy that I referenced above for totally legitimate reasons. I merely hope to inspire you to make more convincing arguments in the future.

          3. As another commenter wrote….“I’m pretty sure actually becoming pregnant from not using plan B and either getting an abortion later or having an unwanted child would be far more dramatic and disruptive to a woman’s life. “

            This is the main problem: arguing that we shouldn’t have access to something because later down the line we may regret it. This is a weak argument.

            Brad, we would have to take polls to figure out how many people come to regret these different decisions and which ones cause more grief. How do you even measure grief though? The point is that we should not ban something because it MAY cause grief to SOME people in the FUTURE.

          4. Right, Arielle. You’ve brought up several perfectly legitimate points rebutting the after-the-fact grief argument as it pertains to abortion.

            I’m not trying to defend that argument; I only began arguing on this thread that applying the after-the-fact grief argument to nonexistent and wildly hypothetical cases (Christian Science, condom usage), as several here have done, is not a valid comparison to abortion, nor a persuasive rebuttal to Harry’s article.

        1. While that sounds snappy and all, it’s not a very good comparison. Abortion involves terminating the development of a fertilized egg, while masturbation is terminating the life of many sperm cells. A fertilized egg has much more of a chance of becoming a human being one day compared to just individual sperm cells which haven’t fertilized anything yet.
          That being said, this article’s argument is seriously flawed. Just not for this reason.

        1. That is completely false. Just google it and the first thing you see is that if an egg is fertilized, Plan B may prevent it from attaching to the wall of the uterus.
          Next time, check YOUR facts.

  4. The permanent and irreversible nature of having a child affords no room for regret. This means that students who view having a child before they’re ready as a mistake (or eventually come to hold this view), yet decide to have one anyway, may potentially subject themselves to emotional distress in the future. This is not an unfathomable scenario, as one’s life-outlook is often radically different at age forty as opposed to age twenty.

  5. Even though I’m against Plan B, I think this article is kinda ridiculous. One vending machine is only convenient to those in that dorm. It’s not going to make a 5 campuswide change. And most girls here are well informed and prepared with birth control or contraceptives anyways. And if they didn’t, they would likely opt for an abortion. While I’m against the Plan B pill, I much prefer that over an abortion.
    And honestly… this is the most counterproductive article I’ve ever seen. A lot of people ignore the constant pouring in of schoolwide emails and probably missed the email telling them about the vending machine. Now Claremont Independent is ensuring that those people know about it.

    1. Most girls I know (and I myself) don’t just have emergency contraceptives like Plan B on hand–condoms, maybe, birth control pills taken daily, maybe, but neither of those are 100% reliable (not that Plan B is either, but it’s almost there). Even if I were at Mudd or Pitzer and a condom my partner and I had been using broke, I would definitely go straight to the nearest place where I could get Plan B, which, depending on the time of day, might be the Pomona vending machine.

      Also, I don’t think a lot of girls out there have some problem that emergency contraception like Plan B would solve and instead just go, “Oh, it’s fine, I’d rather just have an abortion later than take this pill now.” Abortions are emotionally, physically, and mentally traumatizing and, because they’re physical procedures, can leave scars or punctures and cause fertility problems in the future. Pretty sure Plan B rarely if ever has lasting effects like that.

      And some questions for Harry Arnold: what was this supposed to accomplish? Do you think you’ve succeeded in convincing people who didn’t already think so that this vending machine is a travesty? Did you want to make people who use emergency contraception or have premarital sex feel guilty? Would you really not have been okay seething about this in silence rather than VERY DEFINITELY NOT imposing your moral and religious beliefs on others by writing this article? This article is less appalling and invasive than the people who stand on Claremont street corners with those giant pictures of fetuses, but only marginally so. If you don’t like the machine, don’t use the machine. If you don’t like that the CMC administration sent out an email about the machine’s presence and sounded at all happy about it being there, maybe transfer to a school where there’s no possibility that anyone would be the least bit glad about readily available emergency contraception?

  6. “Individuals who believe life begins at conception [incorrectly] equate this to abortion.” Ginsburg’s dissent will become precedent in theory and praxis in the end.

    “When a female…” Really?

    “The morning after pill is not a typical over-the-counter medication like Advil or Tylenol. It is a highly concentrated dose of hormones that can significantly alter a female’s menstrual cycle.” You know what else significantly alters a person’s menstrual cycle? Pregnancy. Just saying. And there you go with the “females” again.

    Why does everything have to be an extremist, liberal cause célèbre? Human beings—namely students and administrators—got together and made a well thought out decision. If you don’t approve of Plan B, I suggest you don’t use it. I would, however, give male vibrators a try. Strong chance it’ll straighten out your kinks.

  7. Having to go to SHS for Plan B after I’d been raped was one of the most humiliating moments in my life. I was still in shock from my assault and so lost in my shame that the judging look, though fleeting, that the receptionist gave me still haunts me two years later. Having it available in the vending machine would enable victims of assault to get Plan B, even if they don’t feel comfortable discussing their assault right after it’s happened.

    1. SHS seriously needs to turn itself around regarding rape. I went in after having been drugged, beaten and raped, and instead of taking the blood test I asked for, they shipped me off to Monsour and gave me plan B instead, saying that I was too drunk. I was not drunk. I was drugged. To this day, their decision to disregard my requests for a drug test and the hospital means that my rapist walks free.

      1. girl,
        I completely agree! I’m sorry you had that experience, I’m sorry I had a similar experience, but I’m also the tiniest bit relieved neither of us are alone in our experience. It took me a long time to come to terms with what had happened because SHS refused to use the word ‘rape’, and so I thought that maybe I hadn’t been. I hope you’re managing okay despite their fuck up and your experience.

        1. Thank you both for your comments! You are very brave and offer another very important perspective to this conversation. I’m sorry about the trauma you went through, but I’m glad more women will be able to avoid it now with this vending machine.

  8. “The email from CMC’s Dean of Students Office introducing the vending machine was filled with bias. Whether it was the opening line of “I am pleased to announce another new resource available to you!” or the proclamation that “Pomona College has graciously opened up this resource to students from all of the colleges,” it was implicitly evident where DOS stood on the issue.”

    Have you considered that maybe you have your OWN biases about what CMC DOS meant by the email, and you’re projecting them out as “implicitly evident” here even though if you read the quoted material it’s fairly nondescript and/or PC.

  9. Why the hell are you calling women making autonomous decisions “females” in this article? It’s demeaning and shows your overall view of us: animals.

      1. When he uses “male” to describe the vibrator. He uses female instead of the word woman when describing who is doing an action. Not a stylistic preference

        1. “Female” is perfectly synonymous with “woman.” Many authors prefer the former, and it may actually be the more correct choice when discussing topics related to science and medicine. You can disagree about which you would prefer stylistically, but to read any malice out of it, when there is likely none, is only a revelation of your own inherent biases regarding the issue.

          1. Hi Brad. “Female” is NOT “perfectly synonymous” with “woman,” and you’ve proved it yourself by pointing out that using “female” could be a more *correct* choice in certain settings. Why do *you* think “female” is more applicable to science and medicine? What kind of inherent biases are present there regarding “females”? I think that makes all the difference

          2. Brad, it is the way the word “female” is used and not the word itself that is problematic. The use of female as an adjective and as a noun are two different things. Using female as an adjective as it is in the Scripps article to describe a PERSON — “a female role model,” for example — has a completely different connotation than referring to a woman as “a female.” The latter use of the word regards women not as humans but as mere biological organism with reproductive organs. As you pointed out, there is a reason why terms “female” and “male” are used in scientific settings more than anything.

          3. Although you may read that specific, negative connotation into the word “female,” it is simply not a universally accepted one, especially not to the point where you could reasonable judge that to be the author’s intent in using the word.

          4. Dude please for your own sake just google “why using female instead of woman is offensive”

            You can disagree with whether people should be offended by this word’s use, but you should at least know how prevalent finding this word choice offensive is. Your ignorance on this matter is only a revelation of your own inherent biases regarding the issue.

          5. Regarding the use of the word “female” on the Scripps College web page to which you linked:

            Look at the usage of the word from a purely literary perspective. “Female” can be either an adjective or a noun. In this piece it is a noun; on the web page it is an adjective. (Surely you can tell the difference.) On the web page, the word is used to clarify the sex of the subject (“graduate students”). Here, it is used on its own. “Female” does not inherently specify a species, and because of this, the use of this particular word does in fact serve to dehumanize women in this piece. Whether or not this was a conscious decision, the resulting readings of the article as being biased are completely justified.

    1. This is coming from a gay scientist so believe me, I’m not trying to be offensive, but why the fuss over using the word “female” here? I understand that it *can* be demeaning, and often is, but consider this situation from gender and biology standpoints. Not all women are biologically female, but only biological females have any reason to be taking Plan B. From my combined gay/science perspective, I really have no problem with the use here. Women who are not biologically/anatomically female probably shouldn’t ever have a need to take Plan B, but any female certainly could.

      Also, just contextually it sure as shit doesn’t seem like the author is trying to be demeaning. Consider explain what he/she did wrong and how that individual can fix that error in the future instead of justing berating them.

  10. I think the point that using plan B will cause emotional trauma for women who take it is kind of ridiculous. 1. Unprotected sex doesn’t always result in a fertilized egg so there’s a good chance if you take it soon enough you can even avoid that. 2. And more importantly, I’m pretty sure actually becoming pregnant from not using plan B and either getting an abortion later or having an unwanted child would be far more dramatic and disruptive to a woman’s life. People who have these situations where they could become pregnant and worry about it should be able to have the piece of mind from knowing they acted as soon as they could. They should not be forced to feel anxious for any amount of time just because others want to force them to think if it’s really the best choice. Yes I feel for the women who may regret using plan B, but I don’t think having the vending machine makes their situation dramatically worse. But, I do think it helps the people who really need it to worry less and I fully support that.

    1. YES KAREN:

      “I’m pretty sure actually becoming pregnant from not using plan B and either getting an abortion later or having an unwanted child would be far more dramatic and disruptive to a woman’s life. “

  11. I’m curious, do you object to student health services offering plan B with no appointment? Or do you only object to the vending machines? If it is the latter then you are in fact imposing your beliefs on others contrary to what you claim. Did you know that plan B is more effective the sooner you take it? Did you also know that student health services are closed on the weekend? That equates to a possible 48+ hour wait to obtain plan B from the health center for students who don’t have a car. As a former RA I was contacted by more than one resident, not all of them female, who were concerned about either sexual assault, condom failure, or poor decisions made while drunk. Each situation was different, but each wanted plan B. And I drove them to a pharmacy. But that required approaching an RA, losing your anonymity, and paying more than you would at student health. I’m sure there were even more of my residents who were too uncomfortable to ask for help. The reality of the situation is that student health services is an ineffective resource. So while Pomona offering plan B in a vending machine might be unique across the country, try to think of it as a substitute for a 24/7 health center which many other campuses have.

    Plan B is a legal, over the counter medication. Some people believe that any form of medication is wrong. Do you think we should restrict access to advil when someone has a headache in case they decide later that any medication is wrong? My guess is no. It is legal. It is already provided on campus. It is now provided in a time frame that makes the medication more effective. DOS’s enthusiasm is warranted.

  12. The reality of the situation is, like anything else, this phenomenon will fade into the background and as girls make “poor decisions while drunk” or have a condom failure, they will be more apt to use this drug because it is readily available. From the authors point of view, I can see why this is a troubling trend.
    DOS is essentially encouraging promiscuity. Let me expand on this point more: I know that, as a guy, if I was to have restricted access to condoms, I would probably have less sex. I think the same logic applies here. If we are putting this drug out there for females to use with ready access, that second thought they might have about hooking up at a party, will most likely not be there. Meaning that over time, this Plan B will turn into Plan A. One could respond to this argument by saying, well, what if a girl was raped? I would respond: If that were to ever happen to any female I know, I would rush them to the hospital which would have a two-fold effect: 1)Getting them the proper physical and emotional support needed after a brutal trauma such as that. 2) It would give the authorities the proper evidence needed to properly prosecute the assailant, which could mean years of their life in jail, rather than just an expulsion, which is what a school could do in a worst case scenario.
    I am also not understanding the argument of how not having this machine on campus, or objecting to it, is telling a woman what to do with her body. I mean, when most of us leave the Claremont Bubble and enter real jobs, they do not provide Plan B for their employees. I do not see how this is any different. I mean some argue, especially after the Hobby Lobby case, that it is a woman’s right to receive these medications, I say hogwash. If a job does not provide lunch, does that mean that a person will not eat?
    I mean, this notion that women are helpless creatures and need everything provided to them at a moments notice is quite frankly amusing to me. In my personal experience, my mother was one of the strongest people I know and never asked anyone for anything and she taught my sister to do the same. When I had my first girlfriend, I tried to treat her like a fragile creature and giver her everything she wanted, and she almost broke up with me because that was super offensive to her. This notion that women need their schools/jobs to provide everything for them is strange to me and counterintuitive to everything I know. I suggest the women in Claremont break free of their vocal liberal oppressors who demand that everything be provided for them, or loudly object when it isn’t, and start living like the strong women I know they are.

    1. I am a girl, and I 100% agree with the above comment. I do not want to be treated like a doll who cannot figure things out on her own. This is genius.

    2. It’s not your decision how a woman who’s just been raped reacts. It may seem obvious to you that she should seek medical attention, but that involves allowing many people access to your body almost immediately after an assault and having to answer questions about something she still hasn’t been able to process. So, she doesn’t have to do it right away, nor ever. It is her decision, and her decision alone, how she reacts.

      1. Okay, and not to detract from the discussion at hand, but you have said something very interesting, “So, she doesn’t have to do it right away, nor ever. It is her decision, and her decision alone, how she reacts.” I would like to know, following this statement, that if this rape were to occur, how do you propose the assailant is punished. Because if no medical evidence exists, do you think it is right for people to still be calling for heavier punishments for assailants? It seems like a simple tradeoff to me: (A)The victim goes through less probing and(B) the assailant receives a lighter punishment, or (C)the victim painfully exposes what happened but(D) the assailant is then able to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. It seems logically contradictory for feminists everywhere to say, The victim should go through less probing(A) but the assailant should still be punished to the fullest extent of the law(D). Moreover in the college investigations, the burden of proof is on the assailant, and he is essentially guilty until proven innocent. This standard of proof does not even apply to the vilest, most disgusting people in society. They still have their day in court and are innocent until proven guilty, but when proven guilty, they are punished to the fullest extent of the law. This presumption of guilt for the assailant, along with a burden of proof I guess is not inherently wrong, but the end result should be lighter punishment because the nature of such a hearing is the reluctance of the victim to come forward to proper authorities.

        1. So in order to obtain medical proof for assault, the victim should risk pregnancy by her assailant and even greater emotional and physical distress by not taking plan B right away for, you know, medical evidence. And if her assailant isn’t punished because she was too afraid, shocked, shamed, or simply incapable of going to a hospital for medical evidence, well sucks for her?

          You clearly do not have a realistic idea of how rape cases in colleges are treated. Rarely do the perpetrators receive any penal consequence other than suspension — if even that occurs — not to even mention actual jail time.

          1. (This is not referring to a school justice system–I am talking about actual law enforcement. To be honest I am not sure why anyone would seek help solely from the college and not from the police since colleges have such a horrible track record.)

            While Plan B continues to lose effectiveness over the course of time, I know that I personally would march right over to a hospital first because, statistically, if I take Plan B at my next earliest convenience, it is still very unlikely that I will get pregnant. However, by going to the hospital to get a rape kit done immediately, I have greatly increased the chances of my rapist being caught (which would be really important to me, though I can’t speak for others). Knowing my rapist is incarcerated would not only give me peace of mind, but it would prevent him from harming anyone else which is also EXTREMELY important to me. If you have the power to help other women not go through that, I think you should act. Yes it will be horrible, but the potential trade-offs are worth it.

            And I know someone is going to latch onto that word “potential.” “She may go through the whole horrible process and never catch the perpetrator.” But if I knew someone had been raped and didn’t try to come forward, and then I was raped by the same person who raped her, I would, realistically, have a hard time not being furious with the person who didn’t come forward since she might have been able to prevent the whole thing. Not blaming the prior victim for the crime, but she chose not to try to help others avoid a highly traumatic and violent event in order to preserve her feelings.

    3. “I am also not understanding the argument of how not having this machine on campus, or objecting to it, is telling a woman what to do with her body.”

      Here’s where the author is telling a woman what to do with her body:

      “Assuming that most sexual activity occurs at night, students are usually forced to at least wait until the next morning to obtain and subsequently use Plan B. The instant accessibility of the vending machine will decrease the likelihood that students will consider the aforementioned consequences of using emergency contraception.”

      Not having the vending machine (using the author’s word) forces women to wait to obtain and use Plan B which gives them time to think about what the author thinks are the important issues around Plan B. Recommending forcing women to wait before using emergency contraception is telling women what to do with their bodies. Plain and simple.

      1. “Recommending forcing women to wait before using emergency contraception is telling women what to do with their bodies. Plain and simple.”Wait, so basically every other campus in America that does not have a Plan B vending machine, is telling a woman what to do with her body? I am even more confused now.

        1. No. Not having a resource is different from objecting to the existence of a resource.

          If you don’t have Plan B vending machines the only option on the weekends is to go to a pharmacy off-campus.

          If you do have Plan B vending machines but recommend getting rid of them so that women are “forced to at least wait until the next morning to obtain and subsequently use Plan B” then you are trying to tell women what to do with their bodies.

          Pomona has this vending machine. Women can access Plan B whenever they want. This guy wants to force women to wait to access Plan B so that they can think about what he thinks matters. That is telling women what to do with their bodies.

          Do you see what I’m getting at?

    4. In response to your perception of what would happen or what you would do if a female friend was raped, I would like to point out a few things. I agree that if your female friend even reached out to you in the first place, that yes, giving her emotional and physical support is the right thing to do. However, in response to how you think the authorities would deal with the evidence given to them… unfortunately in most cases, they don’t have the time or resources to actually process the rape kits.

      At the Rape Culture presentation hosted by PSU this past tuesday, it was also noted by experts in the fields of rape prosecution, law enforcement and victim advocacy that most schools, even when provided ample evidence of sexual assault do not act on the evidence, or if they do, the victim has to jump through so may bureaucratic hoops that the victim ends up giving up on prosecuting their raper. Things don’t even get to expulsion in most cases, much less the courtroom. (I am merely summarizing what I recall from the presentation and PSU is not responsible for any of my ideas expressed here)

      Also in response to you giving your girlfriend everything she wanted and her being offended by it… I would say that is a whole different arena than what we are talking about here. It is not that we should be provided with everything, but that we have the right to take this medication at its most effective point in time.

      Plan B is a concentrated form of regular birth control that stops the egg from being released from the ovary. If your egg is already released, Plan B doesn’t stop anything. That’s why it is crucial to take it as soon as possible (aka in the middle of the night) after a sexual encounter gone wrong.

      Also, one final thing about the title of this article… the vending machine has no skittles in it. To equate Plan B with food makes for a catchy title, but it satirizes the right of women to take care of their well-beings in situations where they may otherwise be subjected to judgement when they more likely were either not responsible for their current situation (rape) or they took appropriate measures for protection that failed (failed contraceptive device).

    5. Read what “This Article Man” wrote bellow. He answers your question.

      No one is arguing that schools and jobs need to provide everything for students and workers.

  13. I am very disappointed with this article. I personally do not like how limited the discourse at the 5C’s is. We are so far to the left that moderate viewpoints seem conservative. Actual conservative viewpoints are quite rare. This means that when someone espouses a conservative viewpoint it is very valuable. We need more diverse discourse on our campuses.

    However, the fact that your opinion is rare is no excuse for such shoddy work. Your article was clearly not very well researched, if it was researched at all. You reveal your ignorance on how Plan B works and how thoughtful and drawn-out the process of adopting this policy was at Pomona. Your use of “female” instead of “woman” in an anti-choice piece such as this is laughably pathetic. If you are going to make such an anti-woman argument you should at least have the sense not to piss people off with poor word choice. You want people debating your content not your offensive and ignorant word use.

    Claremont Independent: Please do better than this. If you want to actually contribute to the discourse at the 5C’s instead of just being the butt of many jokes, publish articles that are well-written & well-researched instead of articles like this one that read like whiny diary entries.

  14. To Whom It May Concern:

    This is a letter to request that the Claremont Independent retract its article entitled “You Want Some Plan B with Those Skittles?”

    This article’s main point, that Plan B is an abortefacient (ie, that it prevents implantation of a fertilized egg) is literally factually incorrect. Plan B delays ovulation, preventing ejaculated sperm from meeting the egg to fertilize it in the first place. Were a person to take Plan B after fertilization had occurred, she would still get pregnant. Therefore, regardless of your ethical stance on when “life” begins, Plan B is no different from any other birth control pill on the market and should not be part of the Abortion debate.

    The article was exceedingly poorly researched and contains many factual inaccuracies, but this was the most flagrant violation. This spread of disinformation (purposeful misinformation) is unacceptable, particularly as this particular piece of disinformation has long been used as a technique of the conservative right to prevent access to Plan B among women. The Claremont Independent’s continued publication of this article in an online setting is inappropriate for a journal that proclaims to “uphold truth”.

    I have other objections to the misogynist discourse used in the article, but demeaning women isn’t something I can request a retraction for. Manifestations of the patriarchy are everywhere.

    Thank you for your consideration,

    Alex Samuels
    ASPC VP for Finance

    1. I am pretty sure (if google isn’t lying) that Plan B *may* prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the uterus…
      Full Disclosure I just typed in “How do Plan B pills work” and that’s the first thing that showed up.

    2. You piece of entitled shit. ASPC VP for finance means nothing. What does your shitty title have to do with this article being taken down? OH NO! A MEMBER OF ASPC WANTS THE CI TO TAKE DOWN THE ARTICLE! DO IT NOW OR ELSE!! Fuck off, hippie.

  15. I strongly disagree with the message of this article, and with the arguments used to promote it. To begin, the author qualifies their argument with a claim to value freedom of choice:
    “..this does not necessarily mean that I would blindly impose my personal beliefs on others and call for the abolition of these resources and events. I value individual liberty, and believe people should have the autonomy to govern their own lifestyles.”
    Yet the vending machine which the author opposes so strongly enables students to make choices regarding their own lifestyles. No student should be forced to use Plan B, nor should students be prevented from accessing it. A vending machine that provides access thus enables students to make a choice about whether or not to use this resource made available to them, something that the author (superficially) endorses if I am to believe the passage quoted above.
    So if the author supports “autonomy to govern their own lifestyles,” then why such opposition to a resource that offers choice? Because, author argues, “the instant accessibility of the vending machine will decrease the likelihood that students will consider the aforementioned consequences of using emergency contraception.” The author thinks that giving students reasonably convenient access to Plan B will prevent them from considering the moral consequences of its use. The author further argues that forcing students to acquire Plan B from the HEO or a local pharmacy is a beneficial “time constraint” that serves students by giving them time until morning to fully consider the implications of their actions.
    Author, I ask you not to patronize your fellow students. A student does not decide to use contraceptive measures such as Plan B on a fleeting impulse, nor after a night of sleepless internal debate before they walk to the HEO. Students at the Colleges are in my experience thoughtful and critical thinkers, and have considered the morality of contraception long before the immediate need to use it arises. I submit that there is indeed a time constraint: that the “morning-after pill” is most effective within a short time interval after intercourse, and that students who have already arrived at their own moral conclusions regarding contraception have a right to the opportunity to make their choices. The vending machine provides that opportunity, without the unreasonable and unnecessary inconvenience of a trip to the pharmacy.

  16. Please take this article down.

    Sincerely,
    A student who ACTUALLY wants to uphold the truth and excellence at the Claremont Colleges

    1. Please take your entitled ass somewhere else.

      Sincerely,
      An American student who believes that the First Amendment presides over your desire to “uphold the truth and excellence”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *