SDS successfully campaigns for Plan B to become available on campus


Matthew Brown

With a microphone in hand, Kent State junior Christian Heller speaks to a gathered audience about women’s rights during the SDS speak-out March 8, 2023.

Savana Capp and Leah Shepard

Starting in the fall semester of 2023, a generic version of Plan B will be sold in the Eastway market, along with other over the counter drugs, due to an initiative of Kent Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Administration is calling it ‘DeWeese on the go.’ 

Christian Heller, chair of Kent SDS, said the initiative began after the Dobbs draft opinion was leaked May 2, 2022. The ruling, which became effective that June, overturned the federal right to an abortion in the United States.

At the time of the leak, SDS organized a massive march across campus. When the decision became official in June, Heller said they knew they wanted to do something to help students on campus. 

“We think that reproductive health is an important aspect of healthcare,” Heller said. “Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade we’ve seen, across the country, people not being able to get the healthcare they need.” 

SDS sent out a survey at the beginning of the fall 2022 semester to get feedback from students about how to be the most helpful. They settled on the idea of a Plan B vending machine. 

This past January, SDS met with administration to present them with their plan, and the university was willing to make it happen. Heller said making the medications available in Eastway Market was a compromise that could quickly reach students.

The medications will be held behind the counter at Eastway Market. Students can access them by getting a card indicating the medication from a shelf and presenting it to the cashier. 

“We’ve been guaranteed that cashiers will be trained in discretion,” Heller said. “Packaging on the products will be nondescript, so that people will feel comfortable being able to go up and get whatever medicine they need.” 

The Plan B is provided by the DeWeese Health Center and will be about 15 dollars, which is drastically reduced compared to other pharmacies. 

Many students have already expressed their support for the plan. 

Nina Goldstein, a freshman fashion merchandising major, said it is a much better option than pharmacies, especially for students who can’t get off campus. 

“I don’t have a car here so it’s just helpful and it should be an option for everyone,” Goldstein said.

Katie Seibert, a senior marketing major, said that the discounted price will also be valuable for students. 

“That’s even more accessible to college students who don’t have 50 dollars they can just drop on Plan B,” Seibert said. “It’s good to have that option on campus and I think it’s gonna be useful, especially at 15 dollars.” 

Heller said starting next semester, SDS will be reaching out even more to the students to see what they want and need. 

“We’ll definitely be open to other students’ perspectives and really seeing what they think we should be pushing for next,” he said.

Savanna Capp is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].

Leah Shepard is a Staff Reporter. Contact her at [email protected].