Period products are set to become a new staple in women’s bathrooms across campus.
In their final meeting of the 2023 fall semester, the Student Government Association unanimously passed a bill that would stock women’s bathrooms in the academic buildings across campus with tampons and pads, starting in the spring of 2024.
“This is the first time that it has reached the student government wide legislative, the entire legislative body,” said Balazs Varga, a senior political science major and one of the authors of the bill. “Seeing it pass overwhelmingly signifies that the student body and representatives of the student body are well behind this.”
The bill began last semester on the campus affairs committee, an effort headed by Varga and Ashlyn Gumm, director of communications.
Though the bill garnered support from SGA and the student body last year, there were still conversations to be had with university administration and facilities management services before anything could move forward.
“Unfortunately, even though there was a lot of enthusiasm about it… things kind of moved slow because we had to cooperate and we had to coordinate with not only campus administration, but also facilities management services,” said Varga.
To address some of the concerns raised by FMS, the products will be fully funded by SGA for the first year. With a budget of about $1,000, SGA will be looking to put containers and period products in all the women’s bathrooms in academic buildings across campus.
“Belmont SGA’s Campus Affairs Committee has worked hard for the last year partnering with upper administration to get this project approved,” said SGA President Carter Barnett in a statement. “Excited to see it get rolled out starting in January, and proud that SGA can help improve the accessibility of period products to Bruins across campus.”
Accessibility of period products is an important issue, especially for those who struggle to afford them. A survey from U by Kotex during period poverty awareness week found that more than two in five people with periods have struggled to purchase period products at some point in their lifetime due to lack of money.
“There’s so many women in poverty who can’t afford period products,” said Belmont student Christine Pattillo. “It would be nice to have them just for the people who don’t want to speak up about it.”
With the final conversations happening between SGA and FMS it seems to be an initiative Belmont students can look forward to having at the beginning of spring semester.
“We have never funded something like this before,” said Varga. “We’re super excited to have a greater impact on student affairs.”
This article was written by Katie Beth Cannon