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The Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC) Student Assembly was busy during their meeting on Nov. 19, passing a number of resolutions to make Boston College a better place.
One resolution plans to provide free menstrual products in high-traffic women's and gender-inclusive bathrooms on campus.
“The effort to provide menstrual products for free can effectively reduce female students’ tardiness, absences, and interruptions in classes,” said the resolution. “In addition, the accessibility to free menstrual products will enhance female students’ ability to structure their daily schedules more easily during regular menstrual cycles, without the consistent worry over obtaining products on their own.”
Sponsored by President pro-tempore Mengru Crystal Pu, LSEHD ‘20, the resolution was developed with the help of the Women’s Center and the Office of Health Promotion. The initiative plans to partner with the Residence Hall Association.
UGBC has implemented a pilot program that will run this year with the help of the BC administration, and the two plan to split the cost 50-50. Pu wants to not only preserve the current pilot program, but gradually expand it into a campus-wide distribution.
“The resolution is a critical step in leveling the playing field between male and female students at Boston College, in addition to demonstrating UGBC and Student Assembly’s commitment to protecting female students’ physiological and reproductive health,” Pu said.
The resolution also points to the fact that free menstrual products will remove a financial burden for students. It also stands to eliminate a potential barrier to female educational experience.
Pu stressed that the program’s success depends on student awareness and taking “only what they need.”
“I am currently forming the UGBC study group and negotiating with the administrators on how to best fund the program with a combination of the Student Affairs division budget, OSI budget, ResLife budget, UGBC budget, etc., but I am very confident about the outcome of the discussions,” Pu said.
Free menstrual products is a movement that has taken hold in the Boston area, including at Harvard and Boston Public Schools. This resolution is a huge step for BC, considering most of the menstrual product dispensaries in bathrooms either do not work or are rarely refilled.
A second resolution, in partnership with the Council for Students with Disabilities (CSD) and sponsored by CSD Policy Coordinator Svea McNally, LSEHD ‘22, concerns Eagle Escort services on campus.
The bill addresses the fact that the Boston College Police Department has only one Eagle Escort vehicle, on-campus safety transportation services, operating on a given day.
Students with disabilities and injuries have raised concerns regarding inconsistency, safety, and the New England winter weather.
Noting that BC aims to achieve its mission with “a deep concern for all members of its community, with a recognition of the important contribution a diverse student body, faculty, and staff can offer,” the bill called for change.
The ratification of this resolution calls on BC to have two staffed Eagle Escort vans available at all times. It also instructs van drivers “to call the student that ordered the service once they arrive at the pick-up point on campus,” put in place as a short-term solution.
A future goal stated at the end of the resolution suggested “using Eagle Escort as an on-campus job opportunity by hiring student drivers, as well as students being able to schedule their Eagle Escort service in advance as opposed to scheduling on-demand.”