The Undergraduate Student Government provided 900 menstrual products to students in a three-day trial run in late November. The university offered free menstrual products in a handful of restrooms across campus.
USG started the initiative to measure demand before deciding whether to fully implement the program in the spring or next fall.
"We do recognize that there is a need in some men's restrooms and we are very willing to look at and be able to provide that service there as well," said Marina Hrovat, USG director of wellness affairs.
This is the first time USC has provided free menstrual products, outside of the Engemann Student Health Center.
USG president Austin Dunn said many students participated in the survey by the end of the three days, mostly showing support for the initiative.
"In the three days of the trial, we had 175 participants in the survey and about 900 menstrual products taken," Dunn said."[Hrovat] informed me that we received 99% of responses in full support and 1% in opposition."
Tampons and pads were seen in boxes next to the sinks of 12 women’s and gender-neutral restrooms in buildings with high traffic, such as Von KleinSmid Center, Tutor Campus Center and Taper Hall. The program is being funded by the Office for Wellness and Health Promotion and supported by USC Student Affairs.
Hrovat said this proposal initially came from Mai Mizuno, the USG director of external affairs.
"A lot of it came from my own personal experience of not having a tampon when I needed one, not having the time to run to the store and buy some, being frustrated by how expensive they are, or feeling embarrassed for having to ask another woman for menstrual products when I ran out," Mizuno said.
Mizuno's frustrations have been felt across many other campuses like Brown University and Columbia University, which have also recently started to provide free menstrual products.
"It just made sense to be a part of this movement," Mizuno said.
USG is used a texting service to quantify students' feedback about the program. They have already received about 100 responses, all of which are in favor of the necessity of the service, Hrovat said.
Natalie Antounian is among the supporters of the program.
"I heard of circumstances where my classmates have to leave class early, or they don't feel comfortable standing up in front of people because they did not have the means provided with them on campus. They were not prepared," said Antounian, a senior majoring in international relations and political science.
Hrovat said that they did not send out campus-wide messages to announce the initiative because they want this trial to be "organic" to "measure students' needs without skewing data and encouraged students to use a service that they would not have if they were not told to."
In an email following the trial, Dunn said, USG is currently researching the most cost effective and accessible ways to implement the initiative consistently.
This story has been updated on Wednesday, November 29th with the results of the trial.