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Nov 19, 2018
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A tray of feminine products are displayed on a counter in a Fresno State restroom (Courtesy of Demi Wack).

ASI presidential candidate is force behind free feminine products in restrooms

Female students in need of feminine products at Fresno State have been able to find them a little easier lately in four restrooms across the campus.

The supply of free tampons and pads donated by the Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), which costs nearly $1,000, is part of a helping effort by ASI Vice President of External Affairs Demi Wack.

“It was an idea that I had at the beginning of the year,” Wack said. “For me it seemed like a pretty obvious need. I was like why don’t we already have this? I can’t believe it’s not already available.”

The feminine products are stored in a box on the restrooms counter in the Science II Building, the Student Recreation Center, the Student Health and Counseling Center and the Student Cupboard. Wack hopes to reach more restrooms soon.

“Moving forward, we are looking at more locations,” Wack said. “Probably in the Cross Cultural and Gender Center, maybe one in the [University Student Union], so that they are more centralized.”

Wack said the process to begin providing the products for the campus’ female students was long. Sen. Alexandra Chavez, student affairs; Sen. Edgar Castro, parking and safety; and Executive Vice President Brandon Sepulveda helped Wack determine funding, creating a sustainable source of products and addressing a likely high demand.

“There are different solutions that we are looking at,” Wack said. “Maybe making it even more accessible to students so that if they need more, they can have a handful, because at the end of the day I want the students to have that service.”

Free feminine products have also been offered through donations to the Student Cupboard, but Wack said not many students knew about it.

“It wasn’t a sustainable source, and students didn’t really know about it,” Wack said. “Hopefully, depending on how the project works out – we have a lot of support for it – we are going to try to make it an ongoing source.”

Wack, who currently serves as the only female member of the ASI executive team, and who is the only female candidate running for ASI’s president position, said she considers herself an advocate for female students at Fresno State.

“I’m the only female executive for ASI right now,” Wack said. “I think it’s important that there is a woman’s voice in ASI that’s speaking for women.”

During her first year in ASI, Wack has worked with the executive team to bring more tangible resources and projects to life for students. It’s feminine products this time, but it could be other helpful items like bicycles next time, she said.

Wack was also voiced her plans this semester to bring benches to the Peace Garden on campus. It was approved by the ASI senate and is currently in the design phase. The project is expected to cost about $40,000. Wack said the efforts to improve life for students on campus are also efforts to make student government more visible.

“A lot of people don’t know what ASI is,” Wack said. “If we are doing our job, then they will know who we are.”

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