Residence hall vending machines add condoms

Starting next week, scoring condoms will be as easy as pressing A4.

GW will begin to stock $2 two-packs of male condoms in each residence hall’s vending machines.

Associate Dean of Students Tim Miller, who introduced the idea of selling condoms in vending machines, said it will not cost the University money – a key concern that surfaced from a student organization’s lobbying efforts for free condom dispensers in residence halls.

“This is what students asked for. It’s an anonymous way to get condoms in residence halls,” Miller said said. “No one knows if you’re buying a Twinkie or if you’re buying a condom.”

The vending machine company GW uses will be in charge of refilling and performing maintenance on the machines.

Members of Allied in Pride have called on administrators to install dispensers since September, but Miller said the proposal was poorly vetted, unsustainable and too costly. He estimated installation, maintenance and replacement costs for their distribution machines to be more than $20,000.

Students will still be able to pick up free condoms from Student Health Services, the LGBT Resource Center, multiple student organization offices and house staff members’ rooms. Last year, the University gave out about 15,000 condoms.

Adam Frankel, an executive board member of Allied in Pride, called the vending option an “uncalculated decision” that will negatively impact the University’s efforts to promote health and wellness.

“We are very disappointed with the administration’s unilateral decision to propose a plan which we believe is entirely contrary to our efforts,” he said.

The group also wanted dispensers to provide information about safe sex practices.

The organization has continued to push for dispensers offering free condoms in the residence halls through a new petition, which has collected more than 300 signatures as of March 21.

Frankel argued that GW’s take on the cost of free dispensers is “misguided,” saying each one would cost about $80 to $100, totaling about $3,000 for the roughly 30 residence halls on campus.

The Student Association Senate showed support for the project in September through a nonbinding resolution but SA leaders have taken no further action.

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