Seton Hall continues to have no working feminine hygiene product dispensers on campus in any bathroom.
In 2012, Seton Hall administration made the decision to no longer provide pad dispensaries for feminine hygiene products in the women’s bathrooms on campus, as reported in a previous article by The Setonian.
Michelle Pan, the Student Life Committee chair of the Student Government Association (SGA) and a sophomore double majoring in psychology and economics, said in an email interview that the SHU administration had taken down the dispensers because they were hardly used and people were finding ways to break into them.
“I expressed my concern, saying that it was extremely inconvenient for girls who happen to get their menstrual cycle during class, because they would have to walk all the way to the book store.” Michelle said she plans to address the issue by starting an initiative in Student Life to see why Student Services isn’t doing anything about the issue.
On June 21, 2016, New York City lawmakers passed legislation to require public schools, shelters and jails to provide free feminine hygiene products, such as tampons and pads, according to the Washington Post. Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, New York City council member, was quoted in the Washington Post saying that feminine hygiene products are “as necessary as toilet paper.”
Many other states have taken steps in that direction as well. USA Today reported that dozens of colleges across the country have begun initiating programs as female students push to require access to free feminine hygiene products. Some of the colleges pushing for this include Columbia University, the University of Arizona and the University of Minnesota.
A survey conducted by Harris Interactive, a market research firm, found that 79 percent of women said they had started their periods in public without the needed supplies; furthering the importance of pad and tampon dispensaries.
For some Seton Hall women, the lack of dispensers is a problem.
Kelley Trinidad, a freshman finance major, said, “I think that at the very least tampons and pads should be available in the bathrooms. Going to the bookstore every time you need one is an unnecessary burden for something that is uncontrollable and often unexpected.”
Another student, Rebecca Wasserman, a junior English major, said, “I’ve had to ask other girls in the bathroom before for a pad or a tampon.”
She added, “I feel like it is weird, at this point it is just expected when I walk into a bathroom that there will be a dispenser there.” However, this poses a problem when SHU does not have dispensaries.
Zuleima Montesinos, a freshman nursing major, said she thinks SHU bathrooms should have dispensaries. Then women wouldn’t have to worry about not having a pad or tampon in an emergency. “Some girls don’t live on campus so they can’t go to their dorm to get that (feminine hygiene) product,” she said.
Emily Betz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.