Feminine hygiene products will be free
The Residence Hall Association has begun installing feminine hygiene product dispensers in public bathrooms in MSU’s residential halls.
The RHA General Assembly voted on the implementation last semester. The assembly, made up of 68 residential hall students, voted to add $6 to the room and board fee to support the implementation.
The dispensers will contain both pads and tampons and cost $18,000 to install and maintain through the end of 2016. The products will be dispensed for free.
“I was approached by students about bringing this about, so I put it on the room and board rates consultation process as a proposed change,” RHA President Fred de Ruiter said.
Dispensers have been installed in public female bathrooms in Julia Sears and Preska resident halls as well as Carkoski Commons. Dispensers will be installed in the gender neutral bathrooms in McElroy and Crawford resident halls this summer. Each dispenser costs $231.
According to de Ruiter, MSU is the first public education institution in Minnesota to install these types of dispensers in public bathrooms and provide its products free of charge.
“I think that putting these in the res halls is a good start, and it speaks to the progressive nature of [MSU] as an institution. However, I would like to see this being implemented campus wide in order to support our students’ needs,” de Ruiter said.
The dispensers will be maintained by general maintainence workers and refilled daily. They’re set to dispense products for free, but there is an option to charge 25 cents for each pad and tampon.
The $6 room and board fee increase associated with the dispensers will be voted on again during the general assembly’s consultation process next fall.
“I believe that women should have access to these products, like how people have access to toilet paper,” de Ruiter said.