UCR celebrates official grand opening of Wellness Express Vending Machine

On May 24, Planned Parenthood Generation Action (PPGA) organized a special event for the grand opening of the Wellness Express Convenient Contraceptive and More. The safe-sex vending machine was installed in the Student Recreation Center (SRC) North building on April 24.

The event lasted from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. The safe-sex vending machine contains a variety of safe-sex products such as condoms, tampons, pads, pregnancy tests, pain and allergy relief, pregnancy tests and more. A stand with pamphlets on sexual reproduction, health resources and other information regarding sex is beside the safe-sex vending machine as well. According to PPGA co-president, Elizabeth Kavianian, the grand opening was meant to celebrate the work done to install the safe-sex machine and “recognize those who had done it.”

Kavianian remarked that the vending machine was a “huge step” in supporting student access on campus. She added, “This vending machine provides an additional option for our campus community that will enable students to make safe and healthy decisions about their bodies, their sexual lives and their health.”

PPGA, The Well and the Student Resource Center worked together to get the safe-sex vending machine installed on campus since spring quarter. In a collaborative effort, they installed UCR’s first safe-sex vending machine next to the racquetball courts in the SRC.

Around 40 people attended the event. Many of them were members of PPGA, the Well and resource centers at UCR. The event had a podium to give staff and individuals a chance to voice their celebration of the achievement that they had made. Water and goodie bags filled with pens, letter openers, chapstick and candy were handed out to all who attended.

The speakers included Kavianian, Marisol Torres from The Well, Director of the Women’s Resource Center Denise Davis, Vania Del Villar from PPGA, Karla Reyes from PPGA, Stephanie Orozco from PPGA and Sufiya Manju from PPGA. California Assembly members also sent representatives to honor the achievements of these organizations such as Sabrina Cervantes, Jose Medina and Senator Richard Roth. “We are excited to support this Wellness Express initiative on campus that allows students the ability to purchase items long after stores have closed and regardless of transportation,” stated Davis.

Torres said, “We are supporting this project as a student-led and data-driven project that helps improve access to health services on campus.” After the speakers were finished, everyone walked to the safe-sex vending machine and did a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the Wellness Express Convenient Contraceptive and More.

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