Utah State University took a step to improve the lives of female students. Newsline reporter Rachel Smith tells us why female students at USU now get their hygiene products for free.
USU student Brock Hardcastle spearheaded the free feminine hygiene campaign, an issue he heard about during his campaign for business senator in the student association.
“She came up and said, ‘Hey, one of your points on your platform is empowering student voices and I have an idea on something specific you can do in order to empower the voices here in the business school,’” said Hardcastle.
Hardcastle said he hadn’t considered the issue before but could empathize by imagining his twin sister needing the products and not having a quarter to purchase them.
“It seemed a little outdated, to be candid. No one carries around quarters anymore and also just the larger question of, we’re not charging for toilet paper, so why are we charging for tampons?”
Hardcastle says the process to get the free products took a long time.
“Essentially what we had to do is figure out how many women’s bathrooms were on campus and then get estimates on how many products were currently being used over about a year, and seeing if it would be possible to change those dispensers.”
The university can retrofit the dispensers from pay to free by changing one part.
The money to retrofit and continually stock the hygiene products will come from the facilities enhancement fund and other perpetual funds.
“This is something so easy that the university can do that will really improve the quality of life here on campus for our women.”
Hardcastle wants to emphasize that he didn’t do this on his own; he had a team of people working with him to accomplish the goal, including several women.
The school will retrofit the dispensers over the summer and the female students can start getting the free hygiene products next fall.