In partnership with Elon Feminists for Equality, Change and Transformation, SGA launched a pilot program providing free menstrual products in select bathrooms across campus. For Sophie Zinn, chair of the student issues committee, this program has been in the works for two and a half years.
Currently, the program is in the testing phase for the month of February, and Zinn said this is just the first part. The pilot program is currently being funded by SGA’s special allocations fund, and if the program is determined to be successful, legislation will be introduced at the March 14 SGA meeting. This legislation will fund the expansion of the program for an additional two years which will allocate some of SGA’s budget to continuously supply products.
Zinn said SGA has been working closely with Elon Physical Plant to get this program started, but said that they had concerns that “this would be like a free give-out of products,” and not for “emergencies or urgent situations.”
If the pilot program is expanded for the next two years, Physical Plant will be responsible for stocking the product kiosks in the bathroom, but for now, SGA members are stocking the bathrooms.
Zinn said she is excited for the program to take off. She began research on this program two year ago, along with senior class senator Rebecca Fliegel after seeing a need for the program.
For the class of 2022, Sixty percent of identify as female. Zinn did not want students to see menstruation as an obstacle to their education.
“Our campus is majority female-identifying, and with that comes urgent situations, women have to leave class, it presents an issue and an obstacle to education," Zinn said. "And so for female identifying students on this campus to be able to go to class and know if they need a product they can go and get it.”
Zinn hopes female-identifying students feel “confident and included” with this program. SGA is gauging student responses by using a QR code on the product boxes that links to a Google survey. Feedback from this survey will be one way that SGA determines if the program will be expanded with legislation.
Menstrual product kiosks are located in female and gender-inclusive bathrooms in:
- Lindner Hall
- Global Commons
- Moseley Center
- McEwen Dining Hall
- Koury Gym
- Koury Business Center
- Inman Admissions Center
SGA wanted to select these hubs on campus for the test phase of its pilot program.