By: Taylor Zachary ~Staff Writer~
The Student Government Association (SGA) President Zeina Farhat struck down the Feminine Hygiene Product Project on Monday after senators failed to reach a two-thirds opposed or affirmative majority.
The Feminine Hygiene Product project, which was spearheaded by senator Samuel Buettner, planned to make free feminine hygiene products available for student use by early March. The project sought to use donations from corporate sponsors to sustain the demand and inventory of products.
On the motion, ten senators voted in favor, seven opposed and three abstained.
According to the SGA constitution, when the senate is deadlocked the executive is allowed a vote to split a tie. Both vice presidents split on the motion, leading president Zeina Farhat to impart the final word.
The executives—Farhat and Vice Presidents Eduardo Patron and Ryan Fitzgerald—felt that passing the motion would have been irresponsible because of the lack of legislative support.
“We can’t ignore our senators,” Farhat said. “There were a lot of questions from the senate as a whole and the executive did not feel comfortable moving forward with something that was so contested.”
Following the decision, senator Buettner was visibly uneasy.
“It’s frustrating…I expected a few opposing votes but I didn’t think it’d be possible for this project to be rejected,” senator Sam Buettner said. “My biggest concern was that I am a man working on a woman’s project… but to have the number of female senators that voted against me or abstained, it shocked me.”
Of the seven dissenters to the project, three were female senators. Of the three abstained, one was a female senator. Most female senators raised concerns about the sustainability of providing free hygiene products.
Additionally, they agreed that more data needs to be gathered about how women at Xavier might respond to this project.
Upon hearing about the failed motion, Gallagher Student Center Manager Chris Marshall shared words of encouragement for Buettner.
“I am a bit surprised at the decision, but, I’m hopeful that Sam will keep pushing this forward,” Marshall said. “As he wishes to continue developing this project, we will support him in the best way possible.”
Since Monday’s decision, Buettner has been in the process of reaching out to those who opposed the motion. He hopes that intentional collaboration and intentional communication will enhance the project.
“I’m willing to do whatever it takes,” Buettner said. “I’m more driven than ever to get this project done.”