Student Government (SG) is negotiating with the University administration for funding to provide free feminine hygiene products in the first-floor bathrooms of Regenstein Library, Harper Library, Reynolds Club, Saieh Hall, and Ratner Athletics Center. SG has also put forth a separate referendum advocating campus-wide hygiene product availability.
Julie Edwards, director of Health Promotion and Wellness, told The Maroon that the administration is “still working through logistics and feasibility.” Although the University could not confirm changes that are still being negotiated, Class of 2020 College Council Representative Sat Gupta said that in conversations, administrators suggested the hygiene products may become available as soon as 5th week of spring quarter.
Following a winter quarter trial program, funded by SG, that stocked free tampons and sanitation pads in both men’s and women’s bathrooms in Reynolds Club, Gupta is spearheading the initiative to secure permanent University funding for hygiene products in major student hubs.
“I think access to basic menstrual sanitation products is a right, not a privilege based on your ability to purchase them,” Gupta said.
While this initiative is pursued, SG also awaits voting on a separate referendum that will be on the ballot for the spring general elections, held between May 3 and 5. The referendum asks the University to provide free tampons and sanitation pads in all University bathrooms. The resolution will pass it receives a majority vote.
Students learned about the potential changes from Gupta’s post in the Facebook group UChicago Class of 2020.
“Starting fifth week of next quarter, the administration has agreed to provide free tampons and sanitation pads in The Reg, Harper, Reynolds, Saieh, and Ratner! The products will be in bathrooms on the first floor of each building. While this is by no means comprehensive, it's an important first step towards campus-wide implementation. Contact me with any questions or if you want to help,” Gupta wrote in the post.