For more than a year now, Mills administration has been working to improve bathroom facilities all over campus by providing feminine hygiene product dispensers and baby changing tables.
Until now, the only dispenser to be found is in Mills Hall, broken and not stocked.
Karen Maggio, assistant vice president for business affairs, said that she has been approached by students asking for better campus bathrooms.
In the March 12, 2007 issue of the Weekly, admissions counselor Jessica Hilberman wrote a letter to the editor addressing this issue.
“This is ridiculous,” she wrote. “What kind of women’s college doesn’t dispense feminine hygiene products in every possible restroom?”
“We’ve all been aware of the problem for a while and we’ve been working on it. It’s just taken a while,” Maggio said.
The administration has been measuring all the bathrooms to see where there is enough room for dispensers and changing tables to be legally installed. They have spoken with their janitorial provider about which dispensers have proven to work best for the longest amount of time and which products are most popular. “We want them to do their job, once they’re in there,” Maggio said.
Jess Miller, director of Services for Students with Disabilities, brought up the importance of all-inclusive bathrooms to Maggio. All-inclusive bathrooms are gender-neutral, accessible to students with disabilities, and stocked with changing tables for students who are parents of young children and infants.
This will make the campus environment more comfortable for students, and it has been one of the goals of the Diversity Committee on campus.
“[Maggio] was very supportive of this goal,” said Miller. By the start of next semester, there should be four all-inclusive bathrooms centrally located on campus.
Every bathroom in the new Natural Sciences building is being built for easy access for every student on campus.
Maggio, one of the drivers behind the biodegradable cutlery in the Tea Shop and Suzie’s, mentioned that she would like organic products to be available, but that it has proven difficult.
J. Omar Sanchez, the manager of the Mills College bookstore, had attempted to find alternatives to mainstream tampons and pads, but he hasn’t been able to find a wholesale vendor. Maggio has had a similar problem.
Still, they’re not giving up. Hopefully, once the dispensers are in every bathrooom on campus, the Mills administration can start to look for a broad range of options.