Condom machines to be installed over break

By Stephanie Bradley

Condom machines will be installed at several locations on campus during spring break.

NIU selected National Sanitary Laboratories of Lincolnwood, Ill., to install condom machines in the bathrooms on the lower level of the Holmes Student Center, bathrooms on the bottom floor of Founders Memorial Library, the University Health Service, locker rooms in Anderson and Gabel halls and the bathrooms in residence hall lobbies.

The machines will carry latex condoms with spermicide that are also manufactured by NSL. The condoms, which will be sold individually, will cost 50 cents each.

Steve Lux, health educator at Health Enhancement Services, said the machines should only take about two days to install. He said the first day might be used to scout out the actual locations in each of the areas for installation.

NSL Sales Manager Chuck Newport said the company installs the machines at no charge, refills and maintains them and NIU receives a sales commission.

Newport said NSL also has machines at Northwestern University in Evanston, the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Oshkosh and Au Claire, Roosevelt University in Chicago and the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

NSL’s name-brand condom, Protex, is sold over the counter in many nationwide drugstore chains, Newport said. The labeling on the box is identical to what will appear on the machines. “They are presented in a tasteful manner,” he said.

Newport said most NSL condom machine sales to universities have occurred in the last two years. He said many schools had been considering installing machines, but waited until one school installed them before others decided to install them. He said the reaction has been favorable to the machines.

NSL research at Northwestern has shown that 70 percent of the condoms are sold to males, while nationwide 60 percent are sold to males. Newport said women tend to purchase condoms over the counter more than from machines.

Newport said NSL has sold both condoms and machines for 41 years, and that it is a worldwide company.

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale will install condom machines this fall, said Judy Borgsmiller, SIU Student Health Program secretary. The machines will be installed in central locations in student housing, the student recreation center and in the student center. A company has not yet been selected, she said.

A spring 1988 survey of SIU students, which rates student satisfaction with the SIU health center, found that 86 percent of students polled favored condom machine installation on campus, Borgsmiller said.