Free menstrual products are now more accessible to students


Denis Akbari

New free menstrual products dispenser in South Village.

Denis Akbari, Intern Reporter

The installation process of free menstrual products began in early October in the South Village dorms and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month, according to the university.

In accordance with AB-367, menstrual products are available to students in the residence halls, according to a university statement.

Students are excited about this addition to Cal State LA and hope to see more options implemented all over campus.

AB-367 is a bill that requires the California State University system to stock an adequate supply of menstrual products, free of cost, at no fewer than one designated and accessible central location on each campus, according to the bill itself.

South Village resident and biology major Vimbai Ushewokunze thinks that the free menstrual products added to the South Village gender-neutral bathrooms are a great and much-needed addition.

“This is a step in the right direction, making basic necessities readily accessible and available for anyone who needs them,” she said. “I think it’s quite cool living somewhere that acknowledged an issue and did something to improve it.”

Ojasvi Thakur, a biochemistry major, and South Village resident, is not from the United States and said that having these products in the dorms is more convenient for her, so she doesn’t have to leave campus often to purchase them.

Theater arts major and South Village resident Aura Maya Cuenca thinks that it is really helpful to have these products in the residence halls as a free option to grab on the go.

“I like that you don’t have to worry about [having] spare change like in other places where you have to pay for these products,” she said. “I also like that you don’t have to worry about asking someone to borrow a menstrual product in case of emergency.”

Maya Cuenca believes it would be helpful to have these products more available on campus as an option because sometimes students aren’t as prepared as they think, and everyone deserves access to everyday necessities.

According to the university, menstrual products are available to students, free of cost, at various locations around campus.

Itza Castro, a mechanical engineering major and South Village resident, has seen dispensers in King Hall and in the Engineering Technology building, but she is not sure if they are usable or if they work because they looked old.

“They should add them all over campus because not all students have access to the same resources,” Castro said. “I also feel like they should be free as they are in the dorms since not all students have the opportunity to purchase them.”

Castro and Thakur agree that a lot of students commute, and they might be on campus all day and, in case of an emergency, they might need menstrual products. Thakur thinks these campus products would be even more beneficial than in the Residence Halls.

Maya Cuenca believes that menstrual products should be more available on campus, even if they are not free.

“Having them free would be way more convenient, but sometimes you just have to pay for things,” she said. “So even if you had to pay for it, it’s better to have more options than to have nothing at all.”

Maya Cuenca likes how well-maintained the dispensers in South Village are.

“The Residence Hall custodial staff checks and refills the dispensers daily,” a representative from the university said. “The dispensers are cleaned each time the restroom is cleaned.”

Disclosure: The writer is a resident and RA in Cal State LA housing.