Students may have noticed the appearance of free tampons and sanitary napkins in the University Student Union bathrooms this past year. This was part of a pilot program launched by the senate to provide accessibility of menstrual hygiene products.
At this week’s Associated Student Inc. senate meeting, senators passed a vote to make these accommodations a permanent fixture for students.
The resolution passed 18-0-2 for its first reading.
“We got student concerns that were brought up last senate meeting regarding menstrual hygiene products not being readily accessible in all buildings outside of the USU,” said Danielle Carancho, senator at-large.
According to the resolution, 86 percent of women start their period unexpectedly and 79 percent of them have to improvise a makeshift hygiene product.
Senator Carancho and Ian Macdonald, senator of the college of natural science and math, co-authored the resolution. Macdonald emphasized the point that this accommodation falls under the responsibility of the Student Health Services.
“The Student Health Services [supports] student health and has been able to provide free condoms throughout campus,” Macdonald said. “Although sexual activity is important, you have the option of not partaking in that activity, whereas women don’t have the option to stop menstruating.”
Some students are praising student government’s push for implementing the menstrual products in all campus restrooms.
“I would love to see the tampons and pads [dispensers] installed in all bathrooms because I’m not always in the USU when I start my period,” said sophomore liberal studies major Rebekah Lorencz.
The total cost of providing tampons for all bathrooms on campus is $4,140 and $3,816 for sanitary napkins.
“Other bathroom necessities on campus such as toilet paper, paper towels and seat covers are available free of charge to students,” Carancho said. “So why would [students] have to pay for menstrual products?”
Carancho believes that the cost of these menstrual hygiene products can be covered with the ASI budget.
“This board of directors believes that menstrual hygiene products should be a human right,” Carancho said. “It is a necessity and not a luxury.”