What is the Menstrual Project?
In an effort to increase menstrual equity on campus, the Associated Students of the University of Utah (ASUU) has partnered with University Facilities to permanently supply free menstrual products in all student academic buildings. These products can be found in all men, women and gender-neutral restrooms.
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In April of 2021, the ASUU (Associated Students of the University of Utah) announced a partnership with U Facilities. The goal of this collaboration was to promote hygiene inclusivity and equality. By providing over 1,300 campus restrooms with free personal hygiene products, this partnership has successfully taken massive steps to reach its goal. All publicly funded research and education buildings will now permanently provide personal hygiene products. Products provided in each bathroom include tampons, pads, panty liners and band aids.
Utah State Legislature mandates these products to be provided in certain restrooms. Yet, ASUU and U Facilities have opted to go above and beyond. Instead of limiting what products go where, personal hygiene products are provided in all men’s, women’s and gender-neutral restrooms. This extra effort in the name of inclusivity is a result of Josh Lietchty, Sofia Redlin, Natalie Norlen and all District Building Maintenance Managers. Custodians in each district now include restocking personal hygiene items in their daily routine.
Questions may arise to the importance of providing these products in all bathrooms. While the benefit is monumental for those individuals who use these products, it is indeed a quiet benefit. Products such as these not only promote inclusivity, but they also provide safety and security for marginalized individuals who do not always have a safe space. Simply having access to personal hygiene products is a small gesture that can mean the world for those who need it.
On a larger level, these products are immensely important to promoting a clean, hygienic and productive workspace throughout the University.. Having these products in all bathrooms ensures that those who come to the U don’t need to worry about access to essential products.
In terms of expenses, the cost of providing these products is miniscule, especially when compared to the benefit. Overall, the cost of providing restrooms with personal hygiene products is significantly less than that of toilet paper. The budgetary difference made is almost unnoticeable. For an insignificant cost, a more than significant difference is being made.
This effort from the ASUU and U Facilities marks the University of Utah as the first collegiate institution in Utah to provide this level of inclusivity to its students. U Facilities, and those involved in the project, proudly embrace this new inclusive normal.