Photo Courtesy of ASUN
Photo of Sen. Kate Groesbeck and Speaker Pro-Tempore Savannah Huges holding the Feminine Hygiene bill. The pilot program will soon begin after ASUN passed the bill.

The Associated Students of the University of Nevada passed legislation to begin a pilot program providing free feminine hygiene products for students in the Joe Crowley Student Union.

ASUN decided not to begin the pilot program with a third party and instead worked with the JCSU and the Department of Facilities to reduce cost.

Due to an agreement with the JCSU and the Department of Facilities, ASUN cannot officially launch this legislation until they have marketing materials. After ASUN gathers their marketing materials and the facilities approve them, they will refurbish the current feminine product dispensers to a no-cost configuration.

“Depending on how this pilot program goes I would love to see it expanded to the south end of campus,” Speaker Pro-Tempore Savannah Hughes said. “In the long run, I would love to see this institutionalized and provided by the university in all bathrooms on campus — that is definitely the end goal. However, we want to proceed in a fiscally responsible way, and the pilot program will allow us to determine a potential budget for this to be university-wide. Additionally, I would love to see us pursuing other brands that use organic cotton.”

Groesbeck and Hughes want to thank everyone who supported them in this bill.

“We are incredibly grateful to Timothy Banks, Steve Tovar and Jenn Cooksey from the JCSU and to Mikeal Carver from Facilities Services,” said Chief Justice Kate Groesbeck. “We could not have made this progress without them. We are lucky to have such dedicated, student-oriented people at this university. I would like to thank students in advance for only taking the products that they need.”

Data for the pilot program will be collected for three months to test how many students actively use free feminine hygiene products. There are approximately 10,781 self-identified females who are enrolled at the university.

“As student government officers, we are trying to meet a need on our campus,” Chief Justice Groesbeck said. “This will become harder to do if students abuse the pilot program. People have been telling us for months that students would abuse it, so please help us prove them wrong by only taking what you need. We also ask that you engage with this pilot program. If you benefit from it, please let us know! There will be posters telling students how to interact with ASUN on social media. That will help so much. Also, feel free to reach out to myself or Savannah with any feedback. We would sincerely love to hear from you.”

Statista reports revenue in feminine hygiene in the United States is approximately $2,816,000 in 2019 and is expected to grow by three percent. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program does not allow participants to buy feminine hygiene products. A woman is estimated to use around 16,000 tampons in the span of her life, according to Girls Helping Girls.

In November, about 465,311 Nevada residents voted to amend the Sales and Use Tax Act of 1955 to exempt tax on the sale and storage of feminine hygiene products. Nevada is the 10th state to eliminate this tax.

 

Taylor Johnson can be reached at tjohnson@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter  @NevadaSagebrush.