SGA introduces The Right to Menstrual Hygiene Products initiative

SGA introduces The Right to Menstrual Hygiene Products initiative

SGA introduces The Right to Menstrual Hygiene Products initiative
July 11
16:59 2018

On June 12, the Student Government Association conducted a poll on Twitter asking UNT students what applicators were preferred when it came to tampons.

This poll represents the first steps in The Right to Menstrual Hygiene Products initiative that is currently in the works for SGA.

“The Student Government Association believes that by providing free feminine hygiene products, we are ensuring equal opportunity and inclusivity for members of our UNT community,” SGA governmental affairs director Gabrielle Tilley said. “I am currently researching the most effective, most efficient and most environmentally sustainable products to bring to campus”

Hearing about this initiative caught visual art studies senior Kari Mitchell’s attention. In one of the women’s restrooms in the art building, students had already started their own system.

“Basically, this girl did a performance piece that involved putting a box in the bathroom to contribute pads and tampons to,” Mitchell said. “I think it started out as a donation thing, like they were going to take it somewhere, but I think we all noticed that there weren’t any machines to get that kind of stuff in any of the bathrooms.”

The donation box has helped Mitchell in the past when her period unexpectedly arrived while she was in class. Eventually, she started contributing to the box herself.

“There were mostly tampons in the box, so a friend of mine needed a pad because she hates tampons, but there weren’t any available for her,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell feels that what started as an art piece has become a way to connect women on campus.

“I think it highlighted an issue that I didn’t exactly notice or realize was a problem, and then in its own unique way, created a solution to that problem,” Mitchell said. “I thought it was cool how it evolved from a statement piece to a community one. So many women did what I did, so it feels like we’re all there helping each other.”

Though the SGA poll’s focus was on tampons and the preferred applicators, special education junior Veronica Garcia believes that pads should also be available across campus.

“Not everyone uses tampons, so I know it could be an uncomfortable situation for women needing products,” Garcia said.

Like with most women, Garcia has started her period while at school.

“I’ve had to go home before,” Garcia said. “It’s very embarrassing. Luckily, I live close to the school, so I’ve been able to go home and change in between classes.”

Garcia also knows that not all women are as lucky as she is to live so close to campus.

“If anything, I think a small part of our tuition should go towards making sure we have products on campus,” Garcia said. “We pay athletic fees and all that, so I don’t think it should be a problem for some of that money to go to making sure that we don’t have to miss classes we pay thousands for because nature decided to kick in. Maybe we could swipe our ID card or something at a dispensing station, so we know people aren’t taking advantage of the system.”

While there isn’t a specific date set as to when this plan could come to action, the details are being reviewed among UNT officials and a final proposal is planned to be announced in the fall.

Featured image: File

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Rebecca Najera

Rebecca Najera

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