ASUCD Passes Resolution Encouraging Better Understanding of Menstruation

By Reagan Campbell

 

DAVIS, CA – On Jan. 24, ASUCD’s senate members passed a resolution that encourages UC Davis’ administration to acknowledge and support students who menstruate offering possible policy changes such as changes in syllabi in regards to menstruation, more flexible approaches to attendance, and getting rid of grading based on attendance entirely.

 

In the resolution, they refer to multiple studies conducted in the past couple of years (by Journal of Women’s Health, the University of Sydney, the British Journal of Psychology, and more) discussing the painful symptoms that can come with menstruating and those who menstruate’s relationship with succeeding in the workplace or classroom. In order to create change in their environment, the students at ASUCD came forward with a proposal asking UC Davis to put policies and programs in place.

 

On UC Davis’ campus alone, 61% of people are likely to menstruate. In general, 84% of people who menstruate experience some type of pain. 

 

Experiencing this pain makes it hard to attend class or work. Even paying attention while in class can be difficult. A study by Journal of Women’s Health found that 20% of participants would miss school because of their menstrual pain and 41% of participants reported that their pain was so severe it made them unable to focus.

 

With many classrooms implementing the need for a doctor’s note in order for the absence to be excused, “the stigmatization associated with periods and birth control in our healthcare system results in students who menstruate being unable to receive a doctor’s note granting them an excused absence from classes,” the study says.

 

The senate members used an article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that proclaims that getting a doctor’s note is especially difficult for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. This is due to the fact that many social factors (institutional racism among them) make it quite challenging for them to obtain treatment for the same things white individuals do.

 

Additionally, in a study done by the British Journal of Educational Psychology, they estimated 16,900,000 people who menstruate in the US are living in poverty which prevents them from having proper access to healthcare, period products, and necessary sanitation.

 

These barriers and “this sense of stigma surrounding menstruation may inhibit individuals who menstruate from communicating with professors about their needs for academic accommodations and flexibility”.

 

Even when students are able to convey the effects, the resolution presents this study done by the University of Sydney that looks at how students’ pain went overlooked by university and health professionals.

 

The ASUCD resolution also cites a BioMed Central Women’s Health study where 58% of menstruating individuals were embarrassed by the very knowledge of them being on their period. This “may inhibit individuals who menstruate

from communicating with professors about their needs for academic accommodations and flexibility, ” the study said.

 

In their final statements, ASUCD senate members acknowledged how much menstruating individuals add to this campus while also recognizing what they have to go through in order to do so.

 

The resolution author’s’ hope is that “UC Davis professors, TAs, and lecturers to be cognizant of the unique challenges faced by students who menstruate” and create an environment where everyone can feel and be at their best when in the classroom.

About The Author

Jordan Varney received a masters from UC Davis in Psychology and a B.S. in Computer Science from Harvey Mudd. Varney is editor in chief of the Vanguard at UC Davis.

Related posts

5 Comments

  1. Ron Oertel

    On UC Davis’ campus alone, 61% of people are likely to menstruate.

    It’s also pretty likely that the majority of the 61% are women.

    ASUCD Passes Resolution Encouraging Better Understanding of Menstruation

    Yeah, I’m sure that they’re unfamiliar with it.

    Have you considered asking the state legislature to get involved? Not likely that they’re familiar with it, either.

    The senate members used an article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that proclaims that getting a doctor’s note is especially difficult for Black, Indigenous, and people of color. This is due to the fact that many social factors (institutional racism among them) make it quite challenging for them to obtain treatment for the same things white individuals do.

    How does that rap song go (the refrain)?

    “Woomp, there it is?”

  2. Ron Oertel

    more flexible approaches to attendance, and getting rid of grading based on attendance entirely.

    Though that part should be automatic.  They still do this?

    Seems to me that the only time that they should confirm identity and attendance is during tests. (Assuming they still do THAT.)

    Increasingly, classes will be taught online, regardless. And able to be viewed at one’s convenience, anywhere. (This is another reason that traditional classroom-based education will decline, even while colleges fight it – for their own sake.)

    Eventually, they’ll adopt the University of Phoenix model, whenever possible.

    There’s very few academic subjects that can’t (largely) be taught this way. Education is at everyone’s fingertips.

  3. Alan Miller

    If you’d told me 10 years ago I would read an article in 2022 about menstruation that doesn’t contain the word ‘women’ I would had said, ‘no freakin’ way’.  Except of course in reference to medical journals.  And really all that says is those medical journals need to be renamed or cancelled.

    On UC Davis’ campus alone, 61% of people are likely to menstruate.

    I found online, the “UC Davis Demographics & Diversity Report” which stated that “The full-time UC Davis undergraduate population is made up of 61% women, and 39% men.”  I’m sure the fact that the percentage of women on campus and the percentage of people on campus who are likely to menstruate is the same, is a complete coincidence.  Furthermore, I’m sure the author used the actual ‘people who are likely to menstruate’ statistics in order to avoid the limitations of gender identity as a binary.  I am in fact shocked that in the year 2022 and in the state California I could even find gender described in any statistics as a binary, or that such statistics were allowed to be collected in such a manner.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for