While the population of women enrolled at ASU in fall 2017 was reported to be 47 percent, the University is lacking a crucial symbol of solidarity and support with their female student population — a women's resource center.
It is in the best interest of the University to invest in a women’s resource center, not only due to the large population of women at ASU but in order to provide adequate and necessary information and resources to students balancing their academic lives with their school lives.
The center should be multifaceted and consist of both information and tangible resources in order to properly serve all the needs of women attending the University.
While there are students from different backgrounds attending ASU, there is no guarantee that these students are fully aware of the specific issues that impact their bodies.
These can include topics such as sexually transmitted diseases, in-depth information about the complexities of menstrual health and other matters regarding reproductive organs.
There is already STI testing available at ASU, but the environment of a women's resource center can work to normalize the practice of testing or at the very least, provide an environment that does not create a sense of shame and guilt for the patient.
According to a reporter released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in September 2018, women ages 15 to 24, "account for nearly half (45 percent) of reported cases and face the most severe consequences of an undiagnosed infection."
Another benefit of a women's resource center includes the distribution of menstrual health products. This can range from tampons and pads to menstrual symptom relief products such as heating pads or over the counter medication.
Catherine Corbett, a senior studying communications and the president of Planned Parenthood Generation at ASU, said the organization has been actively working to increase accessibility to these products for students.
The group works alongside Undergraduate Student Government, Go With the Flow and even UA to provide menstrual hygiene products in bathrooms across the ASU campus.
However, in order for a women’s resource center to properly serve the ASU community and fulfill the demands of women on campus, it must be inclusive.
Inclusivity must involve the trans community on campus, non-western-centric information and projects that include women of color.
For example, Corbett said that hygiene products need to be placed in all bathrooms across campus in order to serve students who may be transgender as well.
"At a health center you have to fill out a form, which is ridiculous," Corbett said. "If a student needs any sort of hygiene product they should be able to get it and not wait around and be uncomfortable."
There are products available at ASU, but there lacks common knowledge of how to access them, and a women's resource center would solve that issue.
A women's resource center will not only benefit students seeking its services of information and tangible resources but improve the attitude toward education of their own health.
Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
Want to join the conversation? Send an email to email@example.com. Keep letters under 500 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.