Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GUSA Senate Votes for More Accessible Menstrual Products on Campus

The Georgetown University Student Association (GUSA) Senate urged the University to provide free and accessible menstrual products in all campus bathrooms during its Nov. 19 meeting. 

GUSA Senator Rhea Iyer (CAS ’26) and Speaker Megan Skinner (SFS ’24) introduced the resolution, which requests that the Department of Planning and Facilities Management, the team in charge of all campus buildings and amenities, regularly restock bathrooms with tampons and pads. Senators Sahil Sud (SFS ’27), Yasin Khan (SFS ’26), Mason Leath (CAS ’24) and Meriam Ahmad (SFS ’26), along with GUSA president-elect Jaden Cobb (CAS ’25), co-sponsored the resolution.

Full disclosure: Mason Leath (CAS ’24) served as Senior Guide Editor during the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 semesters.

According to Iyer, the bill aims to combat period poverty and address basic health care concerns and rights on campus. Period poverty, a lack of accessibility to hygienic menstrual products, can financially burden students — the bill outlines that the average unit cost of period products has risen by 10% in 2022. 

Iyer said the bill will address the current lack of menstrual products available in campus bathrooms.

“We asked for there to be menstrual products provided in these bathrooms and also that there would be regular check-ins to ensure that there is enough stock within the bathrooms,” Iyer said at the meeting.

According to Iyer and Skinner’s resolution, 95.6% of 229 undergraduates the school surveyed in 2019 thought the university should take action to provide menstrual products on campus.

Skinner said the lack of available menstrual products on campus concerned her and Iyer. 

“I think this is a really important issue for students because anyone that needs menstrual products should be able to access them on a reliable basis,” Skinner wrote to the Hoya. “The inconsistency in the way they are stocked and maintained in the bathrooms across campus concerned us, especially after we did more research and found that only 15 out of 43 buildings on campus have menstrual products available in the bathrooms.” 

Skinner and GUSA Senator Dylan Davis (CAS ’26), a supporter of the resolution, said the bill crucially pushes for the contact information for Georgetown Work Management Center (WMC), the university’s planning and facilities management, to be visible on the dispensers so facility workers are notified when refills are needed. 

“Right now the bathrooms with dispensers have the WMC extension on a sticker on the box, but I think it would be more practical if there was a QR code to scan and fill out a form that WMC can use to track stocks, or at least if the stickers have the full phone number and email on them,” Davis wrote to the Hoya. 

Davis said these changes will allow dispensers to be serviced more quickly.

“Iyer and Skinner also included tips or asked that there be contact information displayed on the dispensers which I think is really, really helpful because right now products run low and then they don’t get filled up,” Davis said at the meeting. 

Iyer said Georgetown should adhere to D.C.’s law that public and private schools, as well as higher education institutions, are required to provide free menstrual products as of March 2022.

“In order for Georgetown to be complying with D.C. law, it should be providing menstrual products in bathrooms,” Iyer wrote to the Hoya.

The bill also called on Georgetown to emulate universities like Harvard University and Brown University who already provide students with access to menstrual products in all their bathrooms. 

“We highlighted the other universities that provide menstrual products to show that this initiative has been implemented at other universities successfully. It’s time that Georgetown follows their examples to ensure students have access to menstrual products,” Iyer wrote to the Hoya.

Skinner said GUSA aims to hold Georgetown accountable to ensure that it appropriately provides for students’ menstrual needs.

“We are looking forward to having conversations with university administrators to make sure their approach to menstrual product availability is consistent and sustained,” Skinner wrote to the Hoya.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya

Comments (0)

All The Hoya Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *