SGA Menstrual Hygiene Initiative Leads To The Addition of Menstrual Hygiene Product Dispensers On Campus
The UT Health San Antonio Student Government Association, comprising of student representatives from each of the five professional schools, is proud and delighted to inform that our campus offers menstrual hygiene products at no cost to students and other members of our community, i.e. faculty, staff. Over the past two years since 2019, SGA has worked with the institution’s leadership to plan and fund this initiative.
Mustafa Mithaiwala and Samantha Yee, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences representatives for SGA, spearheaded this initiative in collaboration with Dr. John Kaulfus, Ms. Selma Morales, Mr. Daniel Costello and Mr. Jeffrey Patterson from Facilities Management (FM) with the approval from UT Health San Antonio’s President, Dr. William Henrich.
Student-centric discussion groups at monthly SGA meetings prompted the motivation and need for this important initiative. At these meetings, representatives from all five schools recognized this unmet and essential need of providing free menstrual hygiene products, like toilet paper rolls on our campus, so that students have convenient access in time of need at free of cost and stigma.
This was in parallel with similar discussions at UT System Student Advisory Council meetings, which determined that such endeavors be implemented at the institutional level as opposed to UT System wide policy change, given the diverse needs and requirements of each of the 14 schools within the UT System umbrella.
SGA executives collaborated an alliance between SGA and Facilities Management wherein SGA funded the initial cost of installing dispensers at $300 each whereas FM took over the responsibility for inventory restocking and product supplies.
For pilot testing of this initiative, SGA execs worked with FM and the Office of Student Life to identify strategic restroom locations on main campus with higher student traffic.
Since pilot testing, we have expanded the initiative to have dispensers installed at restrooms in the following locations on campus – GCCRI, STRF, and the COHR.
The dispensers can be found in the following locations: 1) first floor STRF (lobby bathroom) 2) GCCRI- 2.003.01 (ground floor) 3) GCCRI- 4.003.02 4) COHR- bathroom number on the first floor is 1.003.03 near the dental hygiene and dental student lounge in addition to the other 13 locations included in the flyer below.
If dispensers are found empty, they can contact Facilities Management by submitting a work request through the Report-A-Problem on the webpage, https://uthscsa.edu/facilities/.
In addition, students and staff should feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns regarding the dispensers and free menstrual hygiene products.
The successful execution of this endeavor is a reflection of our institute’s dedication and commitment to its motto ‘We Make Lives better’.
The SGA extends profound gratitude to Dr. William Henrich for supporting this initiative without reservations, Dr. John Kaulfus who liaised between FM and SGA to help us execute this goal in a timely and efficient manner. In addition, the SGA would like to thank FM staff and leadership without whom this initiative would not have seen the light of the day.
It is the sincere hope and aim of SGA to support the needs of students that creates a more inclusive and positive learning environment by providing access and convenience to essential services on our campus.
About The Authors
Mustafa Mithaiwala is a student in the Neuroscience discipline of the Integrated Biomedical Sciences Ph.D. program and laboratory of Dr. Jason O’Connor. He is a current GSBS SGA Rep, Vice President (2018-19), Representative and Chair UT System Student Advisory Council (2018-2020).
Sam Yee is a 5th year Ph.D. student in the laboratory of Dr. April Risinger. She was a SGA rep, secretary then treasurer, followed by 2020-2021 SGA President. Sam is currently a NCI F99 fellow.