Associated Student Government senators unanimously passed a resolution Feb. 11 supporting renovations to the nursing room in the Arkansas Union.
Pro Tempore of the ASG Senate Natalie Ceniceros, who is also the president of the Students for Loving Choices Registered Student Organization, said she wrote this resolution as a way to help mothers on campus take care of their infants while still being able to get an education. She feels the nursing room is in need of more accommodating amenities.
Ceniceros said she thinks the nursing rooms on campus could all use newer and more useful commodities. She thinks the current rooms are outdated and can be made into better spaces.
“It is an incredibly small room, and the stuff is frankly just unappealing,” Ceniceros said.
Ceniceros said the ASG has discussed a more comfortable chair, a changing table and a new rug. She said the new chair will meet the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Human Resources Lactation Room Requirements, which state that a nursing room chair must have good back support and preferably adjustable features.
Ceniceros said she is optimistic about the renovations being able to take place once the ASG senate votes on the bill.
Grayson Dickinson, senator and sponsor of the resolution, said he supports the movement because of his experience with single mothers in his family.
“My grandma was a single mother, and there's a bunch of people in my family who are single mothers,” Dickinson said. “So I know it's one of the hardest jobs you can have for sure: trying to balance working and raising a kid.”
Dickinson thinks student mothers on campus should have equal opportunities on campus, he said.
“One of the minimal things they should have is a comfortable, sterile room where they can nurse their child,” Dickinson said.
Hannah Butler, a sophomore, said she brought her 9-month-old infant, Rhett, to class with her for six months and used the nursing rooms every 4-5 hours, where she found the furniture hindering her nursing.
“It was hard to sit him in the chair, in between the armrests, and it was just not very comfortable,” Butler said.
Butler said she is thankful the university has nursing rooms, but she thinks the rooms could be more convenient and appealing.
“I’m glad they're doing this because it brings awareness for parents on campus,” Butler said.
Cencineros said the ASG senate will vote on the bill March 10, and if passed, renovations will be done within the next month. She hopes that after renovating the Union nursing room, all other nursing rooms on campus will also have a chance at being renovated.
“Currently we’re speaking mainly to the Union nursing room, which is behind the Verizon Ballroom on campus,” Ceniceros said. “We would love to be able to renovate other rooms if we feel there is a need.”