The Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors unanimously approved a student-authored resolution on April 30 that, among other actions, encourages the university to bring the Family Planning Access Care Treatment (F-PACT) program onto the campus.
The Resolution in Support of Reproductive and Trans-Inclusive Healthcare, authored by student representatives of the campus’ Feminist Fight Club (FFC), outlines specific actions that ASI should take in lobbying the university to implement family planning services as part of the F-PACT program as well as hormone replacement therapy.
F-PACT is a state program administered by the California Department of Health Care Services’ Office of Family Planning. F-PACT provides low-income, eligible California residents with free family planning services.
According to the F-PACT website, the program services its clients through a “network of public and private providers.” The approved resolution encourages the university to apply for F-PACT funding and become one such provider.
Co-author of the resolution and co-president of the Feminist Fight Club Maya Aceytuno, a fourth-year communication student, explained her rationale for writing a resolution through ASI.
“We believed that an ASI resolution would show the administration that students want comprehensive reproductive healthcare and trans-inclusive healthcare,” Aceytuno said. “FFC has been working tirelessly to find solutions to our lack of services on campus. When we found out that other (California State Universities), like Fullerton, have a program for free birth control options, we knew that bringing this program to Cal Poly Pomona was necessary to provide students with the services they need on campus.”
As noted in the resolution, eight California State University campuses have already successfully applied for F-PACT funding including the nearby Fullerton, Los Angeles and San Bernardino campuses.
The resolution specifies if the university were to become an F-PACT provider, certain birth control services including Depo-Provera injections, Plan B emergency contraception and birth control pills would be free for eligible CPP students on campus.
Speaking on the importance of on-campus access to these services, Aceytuno said, “Redirecting healthcare services to off-campus care providers when these services can easily be provided on campus creates barriers for students trying to access reproductive and trans-inclusive healthcare.”
In addition to family planning services offered by F-PACT, the resolution also calls on the university to offer hormone replacement therapy, noting that all the University of California campuses have offered both hormone therapy and sexual reassignment surgery since 2013.
Similar to several provisions in the last resolution passed by ASI, this resolution generally compels ASI to advocate for campuswide change, but still relies on the university administration to implement it. However, this resolution does prompt direct action from ASI to market the Feminist Fight Club’s sexual education workshops and include those workshops as part of ASI’s student leader training.
The resolution was first discussed during an April 23 board meeting. In the meeting, Aceytuno spoke in favor of her resolution, saying, “I believe that expanding our reproductive health care services in student health care centers will promote student well-being and academic success.”
“Providing inclusive, comprehensive health care on campus will help keep our students safe and healthy. Increasing access to health care services will eliminate barriers that unjustly affect students of color, low-income students and first-generation college students,”Aceytuno said.
A week later, the resolution was up for a vote. Greek Council Senator-at-Large Rocio Antonio first motioned to approve the resolution and Collins College Senator and ASI President-Elect Lucy Yu seconded the motion. Finally, with no dissent from any board member, the resolution passed unanimously.
ASI Attorney General and Vice President-Elect Manshaan Singh, a third-year environmental biology student, gave some insight into the process of passing a student-authored resolution.
“The process for reaching out to ASI for a resolution is pretty informal,” Singh said. “As far as I know, the Feminist Fight Club reached out to a few people within ASI with a resolution they had already written, so we brought it to the Rules and Policies Committee and tweaked it there. Then, brought it to the Board of Directors where it passed.”
When asked for his thoughts on the resolution’s passage, Singh said, “I think (the Feminist Fight Club representatives) have shown a great example of organic student activism, and I will definitely reach out to clubs and organizations in my role next year in the hopes of seeing more of this.”
With the resolution now passed, it is up to the university to decide if it applies for the F-PACT funding by the May 28 deadline outlined in the resolution.
However, Aceytuno cast doubt on the administration applying by this date.
“I do not believe the school is even remotely near ready to apply this year,” Aceytuno said. “Before (the COVID-19 pandemic), FFC had asked for a meeting with the health center director and other administrators to discuss the school applying for F-PACT. They did not get back to us. That is why we needed the help of ASI and the resolution.”
Still, Aceytuno maintained her hope for the next year.
“FFC will continue to keep the pressure on the administration now that the resolution has passed,” Aceytuno said.“Next year, we want to have the meeting we asked for this year and expect to begin a continuous dialogue with the health center. Our biggest goal now is to find a way to provide better healthcare for our trans peers. None of the CSUs offer trans-inclusive health care — we hope to find a way to change that.”