Today@Sam Article

SGA Initiative Provides Product Access For Women

Oct. 20, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

SGA members LaYauna Bonds (president), DianaLee Enriquez (secretary), Nicholas Polk (chief of staff), Makiya Owens (treasurer)A project that started out as a Sam Houston State University Student Government Association pilot program has now grown into a partnership with the SHSU Student Health Center to address a basic student health need on campus.

The goal is to ensure student access to menstrual supplies. Obtainability of these essential products is a dignity and equity issue, because sometimes women are unable to purchase the products they need.

During Nicholas Polk’s second year in SGA as a mass communication student, he knew he wanted to use his platform in the organization to “make a change,” so he started exploring the issues and needs other campuses were addressing. That is when he realized the problem many women face with lack of product supplies, so he did some research and found an organization that works with groups to get free product dispensers distributed in public restrooms.

“I launched a survey, formed a committee to help maintain the program through refilling the products and now, expanded our initiative to other buildings,” Polk said.

Although the pandemic slowed the progress of last year’s planning, SGA’s efforts are finally being seen this semester.

“Nicholas, SGA’s chief of staff, reached out to me to work with them as a partner on this,” Erica Bumpurs, Student Health Center director, said. “I have been very impressed with their organization’s strategies and commitment to make this happen. It is a great resource for our students that need this.”

As a result of the partnership, 21 restrooms across the SHSU campus now house dispensers that offer free menstrual supplies for students.

Women’s health services

SHSU’s Student Health Center provides a variety of specialized services for female students. With a full-time OB/GYN professional on staff, the center offers annual well woman exams/testing/screening, along with appointments for female health concerns and birth control consultations. They also offer menstrual supplies in their pharmacy. For more information, contact the center at 936.294.1805.

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