The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) at the University of Connecticut is preparing to roll out a program that would provide free feminine hygiene products on campus.
In about two weeks, pads and tampons are expected to be available in all female and gender neutral bathrooms in the Student Union, Homer Babbidge Library and Student Recreation Facility.
USG’s Student Services Committee proposed, researched and is responsible for carrying out the initiative. Student Services chair Eliza Conrad said the committee decided to start the program in those three buildings because they’re available to all undergraduate students and open during the hours students have classes.
“If we get the hang of these three buildings really quickly, expanding out and learning after that is not going to be as hard,” Conrad said.
Conrad also said the committee is spending significantly less money than they originally planned. For the current semester, products and dispensers are expected to cost about $1,600, as opposed to the initial $20,000 that Student Services estimated.
“[It’s] definitely not a huge financial commitment USG wise or student fee-wise,” Conrad said.
Conrad said by using W.B. Mason as the provider for both products and dispensers, Student Services is able to keep costs low. The committee also took advantage of wholesale prices.
Conrad said she hopes within the next few semesters, USG can expand the program to all academic and student service buildings.
Conrad also said UConn Residential Life expressed interest in providing free tampons and pads in dorms. Conrad said she hopes USG’s program can help provide a framework for Residential Life to carry out their own version.
“They’ve been made aware of the program… If they want to collaborate, we would absolutely love to work with them,” Conrad said.
While Conrad admitted researching products and crunching numbers took longer than expected, she said the process has been relatively smooth and students can expect to see free pads and tampons available on campus soon.
“I’m really excited about the concept… and want to really support this type of program,” Conrad said.
Schae Beaudoin is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.