Starting this semester, Ball State Student Government Association (SGA) implemented free menstrual products in the Student Center women’s bathrooms — something Chief Administrator Gina Esposito has envisioned since the Bold slate began campaigning.
“Originally, when we were campaigning, I had envisioned that I was going to get the entire university to implement this and it was going to be everywhere,” she said.
Esposito changed the initial plan because each building pays for menstrual products individually, so she chose to begin the initiative in the Student Center because of the “high foot traffic” from students, faculty and the Muncie community.
As of March 17, the dispensers have products packaged in cardboard but will be switched out for plastic-packaged products once the initial stock runs out.
The dispensers have QR codes on them, where people can fill out a survey to find data on who is using the products and how many people use them.
“We have actual numbers of how many people are coming in and [using the products], but, then, we actually have student perspectives within the survey,” Esposito said.
SGA is planning on expanding this program to other places on campus. Esposito said the senate on-campus caucus is meeting with all the residence hall directors, and the Residence Hall Association is considering looking into implementing free menstrual products in specific dorms.
“We’re very happy with the machines and how they function. I love them,” Esposito said. “I personally think that this could function universally as long as whatever machine is being used in that building can be converted [to a free machine].”
The Strive slate, elected to SGA executive office for the 2021-22 school year, will continue the menstrual products initiative as part of its “strive” focus.