Condom purchases from vending machines in Kansas University residence halls apparently are sufficient to merit continuation of the sales experiment.
A total of 434 packages of condoms was purchased from residence hall vending machines in February, and Bob Derby, manager of KU concessions, said Friday that it looked like KU would continue to stock condoms in vending machines. Condoms were added to residence hall machines at the beginning of the spring semester.
Derby said 268 packages were sold in January, which was a short academic month. Classes started Jan. 16.
"I would say that those are pretty healthy numbers," he said. "It certainly warrants continuation of the sale of condoms."
The condoms are sold in packages of three for 50 cents. They are sold in every KU residence hall but not in campus scholarship halls.
Students on the Big Eight campus lobbied to get condoms in machines for several years. David Ambler, vice chancellor for student affairs, and Mike Schreiner, president of the student body, announced in November that students had won the long-fought battle.
That victory carried three caveats. Condoms are to be removed if vending machines are heavily vandalized or if they affect the financial stability of the KU concessions business. In addition, condoms won't be sold in vending machines during the summer months, when the residence halls house younger students for summer camps and workshops.
Condoms are not sold in scholarship hall vending machines. Scholarship hall residents voted against the sale of condoms during a campus referendum.
Derby said he's comfortable with the sales so far, but he added that the department didn't have any sales projections.
"If we came up with 15 or 20, we'd have to take a serious look at whether or not we'd want to continue selling them," he said.
Cathy Thrasher, a pharmacist at Watkins Student Health Center, said clerks at the pharmacy there haven't noticed an impact on their own sales. Watkins also sells the latex condoms.
"I do think the students have been using them on campus," she said. "But we really haven't noticed an effect on our sales. It may be two different types of clientele."