HAPPY. still searches for annual funding option

Manaal Ali, founder of HAPPY. is requesting new long-term funding to provide free menstrual products on campus.

The initiative stems from this fall when Augustana Student Association (ASA) funded only 60 percent of Ali’s $2,000 request to cover the cost of pads, tampons and new display boxes in campus bathrooms.

Ali said that funding HAPPY. as an initiative instead of a student group would allow it to continue working as an independent organization focused on education and advocacy while still guaranteed yearly funds to refill its supply of menstrual products.

Ali said this would also make leadership changeover and product distribution a responsibility of HAPPY. rather than ASA.

This would be similar to the bike share program. ASA currently provides funding to the Augustana Bike Club in return for repairing campus bikes.

“Look at it from a human security perspective,” Ali said at ASA’s Feb. 11 meeting. “Women can’t stop these [periods]. If we can provide funding for kayaks, we can provide funding for something that is not recreational, and instead a part of human nature.”

However, ASA President Anna Stritecky said the Dean of Students Office could fund the $2,000 annually for menstrual products on campus, but HAPPY. would no longer be responsible for product distribution.

While Ali originally wanted the ASA constitution (which guarantees annual funding to groups like Viking Days, UBG, and SKOL) to include HAPPY., she revised the proposal after learning the financial constraints.

According to ASA President Anna Stritecky, student groups within the constitution are barred from requesting any additional funds, which would make it difficult for HAPPY. to make period packs for students over breaks, help with Sioux Falls’s annual hygiene drive or create other special projects.

“HAPPY. is just as dedicated to advocacy and education as it is to service,” Ali wrote in an email to ASA board members. “The importance of these events lies in bringing together diverse women and sparking a sense of solidarity that transcends political lines—something that is not easily found elsewhere.”

The final decision on how to fund HAPPY. as an organization will be made at the  Feb. 25 ASA meeting at 9 p.m. in the Haugo Room in the Chapel.

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