There is a growing global movement which states that feminine hygiene products are too expensive (or that they should have no price at all). This issue has been brought forward by many students to me and to the executives at the USC. The USC’s outgoing Student Programs Officer, Carina, is dedicated to reflecting her constituents’ values throughout her work. I saw the value in the program because a) menstrual products can be very expensive b) menstrual emergencies can occur c) there are limited places to purchase menstrual products on campus and d) a student shouldn’t be taken away from their studies or class due to not having menstrual products. Recognizing that there are many students who attend Western and Huron who have limited disposable income, Carina and her team created a Free Menstrual Product campaign and invited Huron to take part. The USC organized the collection of the menstrual products (specifically, tampons) and distributed them across campus. I was given a (huge) box of these products and I took them to the high-use Women’s and Gender-Neutral bathrooms at Huron. I put them in little brown bags which noted that the project was organized by the USC. The program was a massive success at Huron, as all items were fully used, restocked, used, and restocked again until the products ran out!
In the future, I see Huron partnering with more organizations on this issue. As more students come to me with the concern of affordability of and accessibility to menstrual products, I look forward to reflecting the community’s values in the work done at the HUCSC. One thing that was discovered through this process is that tampons cannot be used universally for a variety of reasons. Perhaps pads could be offered as well, to service even more individuals.