May 4, 2017
Next fall semester will see the launch of a pilot program designed to increase the availability of feminine hygiene products across campus. The effort is being spearheaded by class representative Cesar Guerrero Domènech ’20 and Student Assembly’s Facilities Committee, drawing inspiration from a similar program at Brown University which saw positive results. This initiative seeks not only to increase the quality of life people who menstruate, but also to generate awareness of women’s issues and trans inclusivity by stocking men’s bathrooms with the items in addition to women’s and all-gender restrooms.
This exploratory effort will provide Tampax Pearl Regular tampons and Always Infinity Pads with FlexiWings in 36 first-floor bathrooms in Commons, McEwen, Little Pub and Sadove, as well as the following academic buildings: Kirner-Johnson, Kennedy Arts Center, Taylor Science Center, Christian Johnson, Couper, Benedict, Schambach, Root Hall and Burke Library. Supplies will be restocked once a week with funding provided by Student Assembly’s Discretionary Fund. Other student organizations which have expressed interest in the program will also help to distribute and replace pads and tampons.
Last year, the Undergraduate Council of Students (UCS) at Brown University unveiled a plan to stock bathrooms at non-academic buildings with pads and tampons. A press release at the time from the UCS stated that “these products are not luxuries, they are necessities, and should be treated as such.” Guerrero commented that “we are working with the assumption that people will have their own hygiene products in their dorms,” thus Hamilton’s plan will widen access to these supplies in non-residential buildings.
The program is in its initial phase, and feedback provided by community members next semester will guide improvements. Guerrero expects a positive reaction from campus members and hopes that the measure will ultimately count with Physical Plant’s support in the future to ensure its continuation.