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Senate Approves Ruiz Legislation Requiring Public Universities to Convene a Menstrual Equity Task Force


TRENTON – To increase access to menstrual products on college campuses and advance period equity in New Jersey, legislation sponsored by Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz that would require each public university to convene a menstrual equity task force cleared the Senate.

“No college student should struggle with access to menstrual products during their studies,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex/Hudson). “The simple task of providing free menstrual products on campus will help students who struggle to make ends meet, improve student’s physical and mental well-being, and prevent disruptions in education. This action will also make our campuses more equitable, as period poverty disproportionately affects students of color, who already face many barriers in higher education.”

The bill, S-2611, requires the president of each public university or college to convene a menstrual equity task force consisting of a mix of campus community members, including members of the student body, faculty, staff, and administration.

Within 6 months of the bill’s enactment, each task force would be required to submit to its president a plan for achieving menstrual equity on campus. This plan would include an estimate of the number of students in need of free menstrual products, suitable locations for distribution, the projected cost of the plan, and a timeline for implementation.

A 2021 study in the medical journal BMC Women’s Health found that 14% of college students struggle to access period products on a regular basis.

The bill cleared the Senate in a 36-2 vote.