The Associated Students of Whittier College (ASWC) Senate proposed a bill to make free menstrual care products more accessible to students on campus by placing them in restrooms that are more frequently used by students. This would be in addition to the free products already available at the Heath and Wellness Center. The idea was first proposed during General Ideas in Fall 2017, and actions are now being taken to implement this initiative at the College.
When the Quaker Campus last spoke with first-year Student Body Representative Kole Joachim on the matter in February, he was not sure if this initiative would be completed by the end of the Spring 2018 semester. “With something as large as this, we don’t know if it will necessarily be this year,” said Joachim, “but some sort of physical evidence of it being implemented on campus, we hope to achieve this semester.”
The first steps taken to implement this initiative were to meet with the Health and Wellness Center for funding, and to talk with other groups and departments to get additional funding or sponsorship. “We really wanted to take this and make it more than just an idea, and actually bring it into something that’s physical and tangible,” said Joachim. “With that, we started drafting a bill.”
The bill has since been reviewed twice, and was presented for vote on Monday, April 30. The ASWC Senate unanimously voted to pass the bill. For reasons to pass this bill, the final draft states “The Whittier Health and Wellness Center states menstrual care products are available in their office by the entrance and usage is low,” and “the ASWC Mission Statement states the importance of promoting the best interests of students.”
The ASWC Senate will contribute 3.5 percent of their semesterly budget to provide products in academic buildings, campus centers, and Residence Halls. Whittier College will contribute up to $500 to purchase one product dispenser to be installed in a female or gender neutral restroom per semester. These first steps towards visibility on campus will begin in Fall 2018. “It’s such an amazing moment, not only for myself and the others who worked on this initiative,” said Joachim, “but for everyone at the school who deserves the right to have access to free menstrual care products.”
This initiative has also been well-received by students. Third-year Avery Martinez said, “If [the College is] going to provide condoms to students, it’s a little disappointing that it took this long to provide menstrual care products that are more accessible than the Health Office.” Condoms became available for free on campus in response to the AIDS crisis, and were effective in reducing the transmission of diseases through sex.
In addition to this initiative being implemented on campus, other student organizations have been taking steps to provide menstrual care products to others in the Whittier community.
The Whittier College Feminist Coalition (FemCo) held a pin sale on April 19 and 20, with all proceeds used to buy and donate menstrual products to 4 Women Ovary Where, an organization dedicated to provide menstrual hygiene kits to donate to homeless shelters. “We raised over $100 [worth of products], which translated to a massive pile of product, which was amazing,” said fourth-year Whittier College Feminist Coalition Vice President Rebecca Grenier.
Students could also donate products to FemCo, which were also donated to 4 Women Ovary Where.
Students who have additional ideas or concerns can address these at ASWC Senate meetings on Monday at 7 p.m. in Villalobos Hall in Fall 2018.
This is the bill for the Initiative for free menstrual care products passed on April 30, 2018.
Initiative for Free Menstrual Care Products
Director Kole Joachim, President Bryceton Scurr, Senator Victoria Gonzalez
WHEREAS, one of the Four C’s of Whittier College is Community stating, “The right to a healthy, physical and social environment that fosters (and never impedes) intellectual, emotional, and spiritual growth.”
WHEREAS, The ASWC Senate is actively pursuing the availability of menstrual care products (e.g. tampons, pads) on campus for primarily emergency use.
WHEREAS, The Whittier College Health and Wellness Center states menstrual care products are available in their office by the entrance and usage is low.
WHEREAS, Whittier College yields a 56% female demographic at the time of this publication.
WHEREAS, Whittier College offers free contraceptives on campus.
WHEREAS, the Housing Residential Life Mission Satement states a dedication to student health and solutions to challenges faced by the Whittier College Community.
WHEREAS, Cal Lutheran has run campus tampon drives in order to donate to women’s shelters and in order to draw attention to the tampon tax.
WHEREAS, an Occidential Student gained public fame as he was recognized by many national news corporations such as CNN and the Cosmopolitan for providing free tampons to females on campus.
WHEREAS, Pomona College partnered with Dive Internatioinal Corps. to provide free access to menstrual products on campus.
WHEREAS, University of La Verne had previously supplied women with mentrual care products in the female restrooms.
WHEREAS, the ASWC Mission Statement states the importance of promoting the best interests of students.
LET IT BE RESOLVED, that ASWC Senate contributes up to 3.5% of Senate’s semesterly budget in order to provide free mestrual care products in all academics buildings, campus centers, and resident halls on campus, beginning Fall, 2018.
LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that Whittier College contribute up to $500 for the purchase of one ASI Surface Mounted Tampon and Napkin Dispenser - or a similar machine - to be installed in one female or gender neutral restroom on campus, per semester, beginning Fall, 2018.
LET IT BE FURTHER RESOLVED that Whittier College distribute the menstrual care product via WC Facilities Department to restock machines akin to refilling stalls for toilet paper.
THEREFOR LET IT FINALLY BE RESOLVED, that a copy of this initiative be sent to the following people;
President Dr. Sharon Herzberger
President Designate Dr. Linda Oubré
Joel Pérez, VP and Dean of Students
Jonathan Estrella, Director of Facilities
Sarah Dudley, Office Manager of Facilities