Cecilia Silva said growing up in a low-income, single-mother household is one of the reasons she wrote a resolution regarding feminine products as a College of Liberal Arts senator. 

Student Senate is researching the resolution, titled “I am Woman, Give me Options,” which Silva authored in February 2018.

The resolution would require every campus store to sell women’s hygiene products and make sure restroom dispensers are maintained and filled regularly, according to the resolution.

“[The] campus no longer supports women’s hygiene product dispensers and we have not filled them for many years,” said Don Lange, Auxiliary Operations and Logistics director, “When we renovate restrooms, the old dispensers are remove[d].”

Existing dispensers display a cost of 25 cents, and many sit empty in restrooms on the campus.

Silva researched the demographic statistics for women enrolled in February and found that they made up 60 percent of the university’s population. Enrollment of women has increased almost 3 percent from fall 2017 to fall 2018, according to preliminary enrollment numbers acquired by The Shorthorn.

The resolution was put on hold by the previous senate so it could be researched further, Silva said. The extra time was to make sure both solutions were researched thoroughly, she said.

So far, the senate’s research has found that each campus store already sells these products, Silva said.

The Special Affairs Committee of the senate is contacting Facilities Management to determine the cost and procedure of the tasks.

Now as speaker of the senate, Silva needs to remain unbiased regarding the legislation and oversee the process, she said. 

This resolution is important because every woman has the need for the products, medical technology sophomore Miriam Acevedo said.

She said she has witnessed women asking their peers for pads or tampons in her classes. She said the resolution would help women in situations like this.

Political science adviser Kimberly Caraway said the resolution should also request that the products be provided for free. The need for them isn’t optional, she said.

“It’s like water,” Caraway said. “You have to have it.”

She said when she worked at Tarrant County College, the women’s restrooms had a dispenser in each. The dispensers had a place for women to donate or take a product.

Acevedo said if the school had to pay for the refilling, it might be expensive. She suggested that the school get a generic type and brand to alleviate some cost, if it foots the bill.

Silva said the biggest goal of the resolution, now, is to have at least one dispenser in every campus restroom.



Dalton Heitmeier is the 86th Texas Legislature beat reporter.

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