SGA bill will fund free menstrual products on campus

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Mia Hennen

Senators clap at the end of the last SGA Senate meeting of the semester on Dec. 7.

The Student Government Association finalized and passed a bill that would mean the beginning of free menstrual products in restrooms on campus Wednesday evening.

This project had been in the works for years. Now, after the SGA Senate passed the “Funding Allocation for Menstrual Products,” the process of getting free menstrual products in university restrooms can begin.

“This is a five year old project that has been done by every Executive Branch for the past five years,” Kirk said. “We are now at the finish line to be able to present a bill to the Senate.”

Pads and tampons will be available in dispensers. The products will be dispensed in two forms, a wall dispenser and display boxes. 

These products will be available in women’s, men’s and unisex restrooms. Dispensers will hold more and be installed in women’s restrooms while display boxes will be placed in men’s and unisex bathrooms. 

Aunt Flow products were selected to be dispersed in campus bathrooms. The brand’s products are organic cotton, plastic free, biodegradable and have no toxic chemicals.

The bill will require $10,300 for dispensers, display boxes and installation costs. Currently, the yearly cost would be $5,430 for refills and upkeep.

Menstrual products, as of right now, will not be in all campus buildings. Kirk and his team hope to expand access points for the products over time. 

“This isn’t just a one and done thing,” Kirk said. “This is something we want to continue doing for years and years to come.”

Kirk said he hopes to have free menstrual products in restrooms by the end of this academic year.

The statistics behind the issue 

One out of five women in the United States struggle with being able to afford menstrual products. In terms of WSU’s campus, that would equate to nearly 2,500 students facing this problem.

Thirty-five states in the U.S. have a “pink tax,” including Kansas. The “pink tax” is the taxation of menstrual products, deeming them non-essential. In addition, financial programs such as WIC and Snaps Benefits do not cover or reduce the tax on menstrual products. 

Where to get free menstrual products now

The Shocker Support Locker has a limited supply of menstrual products available. The pantry is located on the first floor of Grace Wilkie Hall in room 103 and is open to all students, faculty and staff. 

The Shocker Support Locker is open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

After Friday, the locker will be closed for winter break until Thursday, Jan. 12.