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ASG passes menstrual hygiene bill, designates study space in Western Dining Commons

Miami's Associated Student Government (ASG) unanimously approved a resolution to reaffirm support for placing menstrual hygiene receptacles in women's restrooms in residence halls at its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 26.

Senator and Student Body President candidate Shelby Frye and Senator Benjamin Waugh, both members of ASG's On-Campus Affairs committee, proposed the resolution.

Frye and Waugh argued the current menstrual product disposal system, which requires students to take a bag and carry it into a stall with them before carrying the bag back out to dispose of it, is unnecessarily embarrassing, particularly for trans students who do not want to draw attention to the fact that they menstruate when cisgendered men do not.

The resolution was based in part on a campus-wide survey conducted by the Residence Hall Association (RHA), which found that 84 percent of the female-identifying and gender-nonconforming students who took the survey supported placing waste receptacles in restroom stalls.

Waugh also pointed out that the current system is more expensive for the university. Without receptacles, students are much more likely to flush menstrual products down the toilet, which can result in costly repairs. Waugh said that a one-time installation of receptacles in every residence hall would cost the university $62,100. He argued this solution would be more cost-effective than the $130,000 per academic year that is currently spent on disposal bags. Waugh did not cite a source for these numbers.

When senators questioned why another resolution was necessary, given that similar legislation was passed last year and stalled at the administrative level, Frye and Waugh explained that they wanted to have legislation passed to give added weight to the proposal before scheduling meetings with the administration to discuss next steps for implementation.

Senators Trey Petrella and Mariana Niekamp also announced the creation of a study space in the front area of Western Dining Commons.

Since a coffee-shop dining option vacated the front area opposite Western's market, the space, though already furnished, had no designated purpose. Niekamp met with Miami's Senior Director of Food and Beverage Geno Svec and confirmed that students are welcome to use the area to study.

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