Fresno State is working toward being in accordance with AB 367, which will require the university to supply menstrual products free of charge for students.
According to Janell Morillo, associate vice president for student health, counseling and wellness, the university is pushing to do more than what is being asked of them in the AB 367 policy.
“We have made a decision as a university to go above and beyond [AB 367]. So we have actually at this point identified 10 restrooms that we’re going to start with, and there’s a potential that we can expand beyond that,” Morillo said.
The university is required to reach full compliance with AB 367 by the 2022-23 academic year, according to Lisa Bell, Fresno State public information officer. The bill, approved by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October 2021, requires that the university maintain an “adequate” supply of menstrual products available and accessible, at no cost, to students. It also requires these products be present and available to students at a minimum of one designated central location on campus.
Morillo said that it has been a “fortunate” effort to work in collaboration with Associated Student Inc. (ASI) Sen. Megan Torres of operations and resident affairs, who campaigned for menstrual products to be available for free to students on campus earlier in the semester.
After ASI approved $6,500, following a lengthy and heated debate in March, the project Torres spearheaded by personally restocking restrooms on campus will now be done by campus custodial staff once the dispensers are installed.
Morillo said part of the collaboration “certainly involves our facilities team” and said the facilities team “understands the importance” of the initiative.
“[The dispensers will] be monitored on a daily basis, certainly, and so our custodial team will be checking to see how often those will need to be restocked,” Morillo said.
Torres in an earlier interview said that since she was graduating in the fall, she wanted to leave the campus with a plan that was more “permanent” than her personal efforts of restocking the restrooms each day between classes.
Now, Torres said that — while she doesn’t think the criteria is being met — it’s “advancing” in that direction.
“I want to celebrate the small wins so just providing these products, even if it helps just one person or educates one person about the issue at hand, then I do feel accomplished,” Torres said.