Students speak up on inequality with health services on campus

Georgia State student Gerardo Rodriguez spoke to the Student Government Association (SGA) at their senate meeting on Sept. 26. He spoke on behalf of his female friends at Georgia State and said that it is unfair to offer free condoms but not free female sanitary products.

“As a male student, I know that this doesn’t bother me at all, but this actually bothers a lot of my female friends,” Rodriguez said. “At Georgia State University, we are very quick to offer condoms for our students; however, we fail to provide female hygiene products for our female students who do not have any source of that.”

Rodriguez mentioned that an Honors College professor has started to supply the bathrooms with feminine products that she buys on her own. These efforts are not enough, because female students don’t usually go to the Honors College and aren’t aware of the resources there.

“In the Honors College, a female professor goes out of her way to spend her own paycheck to…provide feminine hygiene products for our female students that use the restroom in the Honors College,” he said. “How many women are in the honors college? How many of you ever walk over to that building? How many of you ever use that restroom and know that feminine products are provided to you there?”

He advocated that Georgia State should provide high-quality hygiene products in all woman bathrooms, because it’s guaranteed that female students will have a period, regardless if they want to or not.

“As a male student fighting for this, I think it’s important for our students to feel accepted and [to feel as if] they have equality. [This] is a catalyst to equality,” Rodriguez said. “Georgia State should provide high-quality…tampons, pads and any other feminine hygiene products that may be necessary to our female students because, at the end of the day, it’s not an option of whether or not they have a period. It’s a given fact.”

The Student Alumni Association (SAA) also attended the meeting to present the renewed Tradition Keeper (TK) app that SGA is partnering on. The app has Geogia State traditions that, if completed, students will receive a dinner with Georgia State alums. The goal is to have 2,000 people download the app and have 1000 complete 50 percent of the traditions by the end of the school year.

However, after the app was presented, SGA senators downloaded the app but were unable to reach the traditions without a SAA membership, which costs $20. Finance Director Zuri May said SGA had contributed a lump sum of money to the recreation of the app and will be meeting with SAA to ensure that all Georgia State students, regardless of being a member of SAA.

“This is all kind of new to all of our attention, but we purchased our part of the TK app, which is $5,500 every year. That was for every member of Georgia State university to be able to use the TK app, so I’m going to bring this to their attention and hope we can resolve [the issue].”