The University of Arkansas’ Division of Student Affairs will install tampons and sanitary napkins in men’s bathrooms in response to “menstrual equity” legislation passed by the school’s undergraduate student governing body.
Student affairs is in the planning stage of implementing the “Menstrual Equity For All Act,” a university spokesperson told CBS-affiliate KFSM this week. The aim is to have free tampons in bathrooms across the school by fall 2019.
The language of the legislation stipulates that the university’s facilities management department “has a duty to create equal access to education, and therefore must prioritize near-universal accessibility to Menstrual Hygiene Management at no cost to students forthwith.”
The University of Arkansas’ Associated Student Government, which passed the act, took issue with the school’s use of coin-only dispensaries located mostly in women’s restrooms.
The Associated Student Government claims that offering menstrual hygiene products “exclusively within women’s restrooms in most campus buildings limits the ability of members of the transgender community to safely and easily access” the care they need. An unexpected need for menstrual hygiene management products “while in public is a situation experienced by eighty-six percent of individuals,” the act states.
Currently, university officials have affixed “Free” signs above some coin-only dispensaries as a stopgap measure.
Sarah Holmes, an admissions counselor at the University of Arkansas, told KFSM that she thinks putting tampons in men’s and women’s bathrooms is “great” and “a very important issue, especially for students who can’t access those resources.”
“Definitely being progressive in that matter. Just being sure that we’re taking care of students,” she added.
The College Fix reported that schools such as Syracuse and Cornell have already instituted similar initiatives.