‘It came from the students:’ SGA free menstrual product bill signed

Thirty-two men’s, women’s and unisex restrooms in 15 different buildings across campus will be equipped with free menstrual products.

SGA signed the “Funding Allocation for Menstrual Products,” bill on Monday, Dec. 12, after it was passed in legislation the previous Wednesday, Dec. 7. The project has been in the works for the past few years but has never been able to pass. Student Body President John Kirk said that in the past, the project was estimated to be $60,000-$70,000 in order to place dispensaries in all buildings across campus. 

Now, the initial cost is estimated to be $10,400, and $5,430 for refills and upkeep.

The expenses will come from student fee money and will cost students $0.32 a year based on the 2023 enrollment statistics. 

“I think it’s a great idea if they’re willing to give it out to students especially,” Kylee Martin, a junior studying forensic science, said. “I think it’s a great thing to provide for the community.”

Kirk said the initial dispensers will go into high-traffic buildings for each college, but they do plan to place them in more buildings as well. 

The buildings containing the free menstrual dispensaries, as of right now, will be Duerksen Fine Arts Center; Mcknight Art center; Mckinley Hall; Ahlberg Hall; Engineering Building; Lindquist Hall; Hubbard Hall; John Bardo Center; Woolsey Hall; Ablah Library; Grace Wilkie Hall; Jabara Hall; Eliott Hall; Geology Building; Corbin Education Center.

“The end goal, like the 20-year plan, is (to have) every single building …  covered,” Kirk said. “That’s the dream.”

Dean of students Aaron Austin attended the bill signing and said this bill helps move us towards more gender equity and the understanding that this is a vital need for students.

“What’s really great about (the bill) is that it came from the students,” Austin said. “It’s a really organic process where students recognize that this is an issue.”

Kirk said the next step in the process is to work with different groups and senators to make legislation so that this is a recurring process every year.

“I’m proud of the student government, but I’m more so just proud of the students on campus,” Kirk said. “I’m very excited that students on campus were very vocal about this to us.”

Kirk said that in the five years he’s been involved in student government, this is the most he’s seen the campus get involved, before and after this bill was passed.

“We had some people push back but at the end of the day, what we’re doing here is not siding on either side of the issue,” Kirk said. “We try to go forward with helping everyone.”

More information on the bill can be found here.