A proposal that would provide free tampons and pads on campus was not approved by the Student Government Budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday evening.
Inspire party senator Branden Pearson asked the nine-person committee to use students’ activity and service fees to pay for feminine hygiene products. However, after 20 minutes of deliberations, the committee unanimously voted against the code revision, stating various complaints, including that the funding would benefit only the female half of the UF Student Body.
Pearson cited a change.org petition, launched by student group Gators Matter, Period. in the Fall. The petition has amassed more than 4,000 signatures in support of UF-supplied menstrual care items. He said it was evidence the issue was being directly voiced by students.
“That’s what student government is for,” Pearson said. “We are here on campus to take student ideas and make them realities.”
The committee said the petition was unclear about how many signatures came from students and if the issue was also being voiced by male students.
Florida State University’s student government approved a similar legislation early last year, which Pearson said was reason for UF to consider a policy change of its own. Harvard University, University of California, Los Angeles, Emory University and Brown University have also implemented similar campus programs.
The change was struck down before it was open to Senate review and plans for the distribution of feminine hygiene products were drawn out. Pearson said he was disappointed with the committee’s decision but said there are plans to seeking other funding.
“We want to proceed with as many doors open as possible,” he said.