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September 27, 2016

Student Assembly ‘Free Tampon’ Referendum Passes With Overwhelming Support

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Garnering 3,034 student votes — with 78.6 percent of all participants voting in favor — referendum 30, which plans to make feminine sanitary products available for free in all campus bathrooms, was passed by the Student Assembly on Tuesday afternoon.

Slightly more than 26 percent of the 14,622 undergraduate students eligible participated in the referendum vote — 16.3 percent voted against and five percent submitted a blank answer. The referendum was placed on the S.A. election ballot last week after garnering sufficient signatures in an earlier campaign.

The proposal was introduced a week following Brown University’s announcement that it will supply tampons and sanitary products free of charge in every gender’s non-residential bathrooms on campus.

Matthew Indimine ’18, S.A. executive vice president, expressed his excitement for student support of the referendum.

“This referendum shows that there truly is overwhelming support for this,” he said. “Three thousand and thirty four students voted in favor of passing an initiative towards gender equity. I’m excited for the next steps, and hope that this momentum continues.”

Jordan Berger ’17, S.A. president, said while she anticipated the referendum would pass and had registered student enthusiasm, she did not expect such a large margin of votes in favor.

“I worked with the Women’s Resource Center to get this referendum on the ballot,” she said. “They had many supporters so I was not very surprised that it passed, but I was surprised that it passed by such a large margin.”

Berger also expressed her eagerness to present the referendum to the University president for implementation.

“I am really excited to go to the president with the results of the referendum,” Berger said. “There was an overwhelming majority of students who voted in favor and I look forward to figuring out how to implement this initiative.”

Josephine Chu ’18 contributed reporting to this article.