Period Poverty

5 Replies

Period Poverty

Posted by Rochelle Barnes on Apr 12, 2019 1:21 am

Hi Guys!
I don't know if you have heard of Period Poverty before, but it is where homeless, low income and incarcerated women and girls have an inability to financially purchase supplies for their period.  There is a big movement to make supplies (pads and tampons) available to everyone who has a period.  At my university, and I'm sure yours too, we have students from various financial backgrounds that either are experiencing great lack, great wealth or live somewhere in the middle.  There are girls who are unable to go to school/class because they don't have pads or tampons.  Does your campus provide pads or tampons to students, staff or faculty?  If so, how do you navigate that financially? The University of Washington now provides products in 72 bathrooms across their campuses.  Personally I and working to push this awareness, but professionally, how do we fight for students when (at least for me) it is outside of the scope of your job?  We make pads and tampons available here at our Student Center because I purchase them, but should something like this come from my budget? 

Thoughts?
  • Bookmark

Re: Period Poverty

Posted by Michael Schmit on Apr 12, 2019 11:37 am

Rochelle

On our campus, we provide sanitary products as part of our food pantry program. Unlike food, which I cannot pay for with "state dollars", we can provide these products out of our operational budget. We also supply the sanitary products that are used in machines in the restrooms in our facility, and are currently exploring how to transition these machines to allow for free distribution in all twelve gender-neutral or women's restrooms that we have in the building. We have also had initial conversations related to installing machines in the seven men's restrooms for the portion of our transgender student population that identify as male, but those conversations are at their infancy right now. 

Hope this information helps!

Re: Period Poverty

Posted by Michael Williams on Apr 13, 2019 1:35 pm

Rochelle,
Our Student Government Association just partnered with students to start a program like this. Currently SGA is paying for the supplies. However in 2 years they want the University to begin to pick up the costs.
Michael Williams
Elon University

Re: Period Poverty

Posted by Rochelle Barnes on Apr 14, 2019 10:43 pm

Michael,

Thank you, this is good to know.  Which school are you with?

Thanks!
Rochelle

Re: Period Poverty

Posted by Lisa Perez on Apr 15, 2019 11:36 am

Hello Rochelle,

We are actually in the process of providing period products for students as part of a pilot program.  The proposal came forward from Islander Feminist, student organization, Period Corpus Christi (local organization in the community), and was supported by the Student Government Association (https://sga.tamucc.edu/images/18-19/documents/sr28_6.pdf) .  In addition, a petition was signed by students and sent to administrators advocating for period products to be provided.  

Students and staff presented to a university committee on campus to ask for funding to support the pilot program and were successful in their request.  A committee is now working on the logistics and hopes to have the pilot program launched in time for the fall semester, if not sooner.  Partnering with student organizations, the Inclusive Islander Network (https://ei.tamucc.edu/inclusion/index.html), and advocates on campus has really helped this initiative move forward.

Below is a link from the news coverage this initiative garnered. Feel free to take a look.  If you would like to talk more feel free to reach out to me directly at lisa.perez@tamucc.edu.

https://www.caller.com/story/news/education/2019/01/24/a-m-corpus-christi-offer-free-pads-and-tampons-starting-fall/2657144002/


Lisa O. Perez
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
 

Re: Period Poverty

Posted by Michelle Lawson on Apr 16, 2019 9:32 am

Hi Rochelle!

I work at Florida State University and we have several initiatives on campus to provide pads and tampons in both women and all gender restrooms around campus. SGA funds the purchase of the items and then the Building Operations team will fill the dispensers in the Union. We also have some in the Food Pantry, University Health Services, and the Women Student Union provides items in their space and on the College of Engineering campus. I am told there is now a conversation being had about purchasing organic products, which is pretty cool. I hope this information helps! Best of luck in your initiative- this is such an important topic!

Thank you,
Michelle Lawson