UCLA to Provide Free Menstrual Products in Restrooms, Including Men’s

By Alice Sun
Alice Sun
Alice Sun
March 22, 2022 Updated: March 23, 2022

LOS ANGELES—The University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) will become the first school in the University of California system to provide free menstrual products in men’s, women’s, and gender-neutral restrooms beginning April 4, according to school officials.

The school’s facility management will supply complimentary pads and tampons in restrooms located in facilities across campus, as “affirming that access to these items is a matter of personal dignity and equity,” according to a community letter sent to all UCLA students via email last week.

This comes after California’s Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2021 was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom last October.

The law requires California State universities and community colleges and encourages the University of California and other higher learning institutions to make menstrual products available and accessible at no cost for all students in 50 percent of their restrooms.

“UCLA is going above and beyond the recommendation—making the products available in men’s, women’s, and gender-neutral restrooms,” the community letter read.

Most UCLA students applauded the convenience expected to come with the program.

“I think that this is a positive change,” Irene Han, an applied linguistics major at UCLA graduating this year, told The Epoch Times. “It means more accessibility to resources that are expensive—menstrual pads aren’t cheap, and sometimes people aren’t prepared for their cycle.”

Han also said that making the menstrual products available in men’s restrooms could help men become comfortable with the menstrual product.

Teresa Xu, a senior at UCLA, told The Epoch Times that the program would help women who are in unexpected situations.

“I absolutely support it. Making menstrual products as essential as toilet paper will give a sense of security to female students as the menstrual cycle changes,” Xu said.

Among those who applauded this new change, some have expressed their concerns about placing pads and tampons in men’s restrooms.

Jacob Sayono, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student at UCLA, told The Epoch Times he believes that providing free menstrual products for women is necessary, but he questioned the need to place menstrual products in men’s restrooms.

“It doesn’t make logical sense; men cannot menstruate. It is a waste of resources when women are already lacking these essential resources,” Sayono said.

UCLA has collaborated with the commission to expand the program campus-wide, according to the letter. Since 2017, the Student Wellness Commission at UCLA has been providing students with free menstrual products.

UCLA did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

The Los Angeles City Council also voted unanimously on March 22 to provide free menstrual products in women’s and unisex restrooms at five public libraries in the city beginning April.

“Providing menstrual products for free in city restrooms should be no more controversial than offering soap and toilet paper—it’s simply the right thing to do,” Councilman Bob Blumenfield said.

Alice Sun