Dear students, faculty and staff:
We’d like to begin by thanking those of you who responded to our call for feedback, which has been helpful as we begin our work. We are writing today with some updates to share.
First, on the reproductivehealth.rice.edu website, we have added a new FAQ tab at the top of the page. We have responded to a first set of questions received from the Rice community, including information about understanding Texas law and reproductive resources available at Rice. We will post additional information to the Q&A tab as it becomes available.
Second, we have focused some initial efforts on ways we can expand opportunities related to education and pregnancy prevention on our campus. This includes:
- We are partnering with Baylor Teen Clinic to provide optional sex education workshops in the residential colleges as a compliment to Critical Thinking in Sexuality (CTIS) and other prevention and outreach efforts on campus. Programming includes information about pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection prevention, healthy sexual communication and sexual agency from abstinence to active sexual engagement. These workshops will be held throughout the school year in the colleges.
- Expanding access to contraceptives, including emergency contraceptives like Plan B.
- Undergraduate and graduate students who have purchased Plan B and need financial assistance can make an appointment at Student Health Services with a physician, and can bring their receipt to request reimbursement. If a student needs Plan B and has not yet purchased it, they may also meet with Student Health Services to obtain access. For an appointment, students should call 713-348-4966.
- We are investing in modified vending machines that would carry Plan B, other forms of birth control and various wellness items at a reduced cost to our community. One machine will be placed in the Student Health Services/SAFE office lobby in the Rich Center, which is accessible to students via Rice ID card swipe 24/7; additional machines will be considered following placement of the first machine. We will be forming a subcommittee tasked with planning this initiative to ensure accessibility, including making recommendations on the content, pricing and maintenance plan for the vending machine, in addition to assessment of potential expansion locations. In the shorter term while this work is underway, we will coordinate with college leadership and the Rice Health Advisors to provide expanded access to various reproductive health items in the residential colleges.
Finally, our working group continues to review and discuss questions, comments and suggestions from the Rice community that have been submitted and welcomes and values continued input. The online questionnaire for our working group remains active. If you would like to submit a question or comment, please use this form.
Members of the Reproductive Health Working Group