The Undergraduate Student Government Senate voted 12-0 Tuesday in favor of the resolution to implement free menstrual products in gender-neutral and women’s restrooms across both the University Park and the Health Science Campuses.
The final draft of the resolution was authored by USG Director of Community and External Affairs Mai Mizuno, Senator Debbie Lee and Director of Wellness Affairs Marina Hrovat.
Hrovat spoke on the addition of the Health Science Campus to the resolution, which was previously not in the initial draft proposed at the Jan. 16 meeting.
“We felt like if these products are being provided on this campus, there is no reason they shouldn’t be provided on the Health Science Campus,” Hrovat said.
The final draft of the resolution also included a statistic regarding the mental health effects of menstruation. Mizuno, who launched this initiative last spring, noted this as justification for the resolution’s passage.
“Eighty six percent of menstruating individuals start their period unexpectedly in public without the supplies they need,” Mizuno said. “This does disrupt students and how they go about their everyday lives on campus.”
With the resolution’s passing, discussion has shifted from the formation of the resolution to its implementation. According to Mizuno, Hrovat is currently in charge of finalizing a vendor to supply the menstrual products.
“Marina will look at what is the best option for us, from a budget perspective and from a quality perspective,” Mizuno said. “We want to provide students with the best possible menstrual products.”
Mizuno said that granting access to free menstrual products in restrooms is not only a women’s issue, modifying the language of the proposal to promote inclusivity.
“I really emphasized, in the language, ‘menstruating individuals,’” Mizuno said. “It’s not just women that menstruate but folks that identify as male or non-binary that can also really benefit from this initiative.”
Mizuno stressed the longevity of this initiative — which has been in the works since last spring — and the unsung people who were instrumental in the progression of this initiative since last spring.
“Previous students, senators and senate aides should be acknowledged,” Mizuno said. “It is really the work that multiple people had put in prior to its introduction in the senate. Most advocacy initiatives usually take years.”
The USG senate suspended Robert’s rules the second time this semester, allowing it to deviate from standard parliamentary procedures. The Senate used this suspension in order to push a vote up by one week. The Senate unanimously approved of three additional interns and 14 commissioners to staff the upcoming USG elections.