This university is spending money to keep menstrual products in men's restrooms
The university is taking additional measures to prevent alleged anti-transgender vandalism by installing sealed dispensers to protect menstrual products in men’s restrooms.
The university is poised to add 10 dispensers, costing between $3,000 to $4,000.
Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (SIUE) is taking additional measures to prevent alleged anti-transgender vandalism by installing sealed dispensers to protect menstrual products in men’s restrooms.
The product had originally been stocked in the men’s restrooms in open containers. The accessibility, however, became a target for students to show their opposition as male students disposed of the products in the trash or in urinals, as well as allegedly damaged the unused products.
“We decided to start by putting in machines where we’ve had problems,” Craig Holan, Facilities Management director at SIUE told The Aleste. “There’s a difference between an impulse and actively trying to tear a machine off the wall, so we’ll be watching it carefully.”
The university is poised to add 10 dispensers to the men’s restrooms. Each machine is reported to dispense one item at a time to dissuade students from emptying the supplies.
The measure will cost between $3000 and $4,000 for all 10 machines.
In 2018, SIUE instructor Christy Ferguson created the Mensi Project to “increase access to menstrual products on campus for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors.”
The project website specifically states its goal is to “encourage more ‘women supporting women’ behavior” and to “crush stigma relating to menstruation, period poverty, and women’s health.”
The reported “vandalism” against the project has been ongoing since 2021 after the Illinois legislature passed House Bill 641 and required the university to “make menstrual hygiene products available… in the bathrooms of facilities” owned by the university.
The state law prompted the university to stock the men’s restroom in addition to the women’s restroom with products.
Ferguson attempted to dissuade students from targeting the material by placing a QR code explaining the law and allegedly zip-tying bags, however, the attempt was futile as the products “were regularly thrown away,” she told The Alestle.
The products are stocked by the university’s Facilities Management office in order to comply with state law, making the service no longer sponsored by donations.
Campus Reform contacted Holan, Ferguson, and SIUE for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.
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