Students at the University of Connecticut can obtain a Plan B contraceptive pill free of charge with a valid UConn identification card, according to the Student Health and Wellness website. This benefit came about with advocacy from the Undergraduate Student Government, specifically, the Student Services Committee.
Alexis Charles, the Student Services advocacy director, described via an email interview how USG voiced students’ concerns to the greater UConn community.
“The true advocacy begins at the student level with an idea or suggestion that is brought into committee,” Charles said.
Charles highlighted two students who had previously worked on the issue of emergency contraceptive accessibility.
“Our previous Student Services Director, Rebecca Feldman (’21) met with Ashlee Stone, PharmD (UConn ’07) Pharmacy Manager. Here, they discussed the possibility of providing Students with free emergency contraceptive pills,” Charles said.
Charles discussed USG’s presentation of their budget for the academic year, which she referred to as the first step in gaining administrative approval.
“Once that is signed and the money is allocated, we were able to get the initiative up and running,” Charles said. “We are extremely thankful for the UConn Pharmacy and their partnership.”
Additionally, Charles expressed the reasons she feels this change is vital to student health.
“This change is extremely important because it is important that we provide people who are able to conceive the agency over their decision as to when,” Charles said. “It was more important that we removed the barrier of access completely. With it now being free, students who need it are able to access it without fear of being turned away.”
Charles described how students can acquire an emergency contraceptive pill.
“Students get their emergency contraceptive pill by using curbside service,” Charles said. “Please call the pharmacy at (860) 486-0736 to order the pill, or let their staff know you have arrived for pick-up.”
UConn USG is the undergraduate student government on campus. According to the USG website, the organization “aims to promote healthy dialog between students, faculty, and administrators.” The four advocacy committees handle student issues, such as free contraceptives. The Student Services committee deals with the quality of student life, including health, housing, recreation and safety. More information about the committee can be found on its homepage.