A motion was passed during the Student Government Association’s chambers meeting to bring free menstrual products to campus. The lead senators on the project are Jennifer Cale, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics representative and chair of the Housing and Food Service Committee, and Amber Dipersia, sophomore class representative and chair of the student resources committee.The senators formed the idea for the ambitious project after the SGA retreat in early August. From there they began their research on how to bring free feminine products to students.
Senators Cale and DiPersia presented a PowerPoint presentation to explain their reasoning behind the push for free menstrual products. Within their presentation, it was stated: “86 percent of women started their period unexpectedly in public without the supplies they needed,” while the study found only “8 percent [of females] say in their experience tampon and sanitary napkin dispensers in public restrooms work all the time.”
Thus, the two senators affirmed their purpose for the project as, “[A way to] provide aid for students, staff and faculty in financial distress and to reduce the stress, inconvenience and distractions that can affect students, faculty, staff and visitors who might experience a menstruation emergency.”
Before a vote was taken for the motion, Senior Class Vice President and ROTC cadet Bror Thirion, argued for the push for free feminine products during the chambers meeting.
“This is an opportunity for SGA to create a new standard for students here. This is your opportunity to vote this in favor and for you to make every single female here that much more comfortable. That much more calm, concise, and lethal with intelligence, more than they already are,” Thirion said.
The motion was approved by the Finance Committee and unanimously by the senators. Stated within the motion, SGA will allocate up to $3,600 from their reserve account to start the pilot program of the menstrual products.
The pilot will partner with menstrual product supplier Aunt Flow and place 10 dispensers in the most popular locations across campus for $3,500. This total will also include 7,000 pads and 7,000 tampons to be installed within these dispensers.
The products will be organic and free of bleaches, dye or synthetic chemicals. Senators Cale and DiPersia expect the pilot to be up and running by the end of January. Eventually, pending popularity, the pilot will later include a phase two expansion which will include 10 additional locations across campus.