On Feb. 27, Wayne State’s chapter of PERIOD. distributed 2,000 feminine hygiene products as part of the second round of their pilot program to test the necessity of period products on campus. The pilot program is the collaborative effort of PERIOD. and Student Senate.
PERIOD. is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing period products to those in need, educating people about menstruation — leading to the elimination of the stigma attached to periods — and ultimately working to repeal the tampon tax and advocating for period products in all public facilities.
What initially began as a class project for Political Science 1010, PERIOD. just finished distributing 2,000 period products — 1,000 tampons and 1,000 pads — in the female and gender inclusive bathrooms in the first three floors of State Hall; the basement through the third floor of Student Center; and the first three floors of the David Adamany Undergraduate Library.
Emily Tujaka, PERIOD.’s policy director, said these spots were chosen due to high traffic and the buildings’ locations in the center of campus — making them accessible to all students.
“If you forget [period products], there should be a backup option that doesn’t involve spending a lot of money or bleeding through your pants.”
The second, unplanned, round of the pilot program only happened because of the enthusiastic response from students following the first round.
“[The feedback has] been overwhelmingly positive,” Gabrielle Gordon, the co-president of PERIOD., said. “College students usually respond to free stuff, even more so to free stuff that they actually need.”
The first round began on Jan. 22 and consisted of 1,000 period products—500 pads and 500 tampons. The entirety of the supply ran out in three days.
“The pilot program is showing that there are a lot of people who need the products but don’t have the time or the money necessary to go and buy them,” Tujaka said. “I hope that this will prove to campus administration that having access to period products is essential to academic success.”
The implementation of PERIOD.’s program follows attempts by Student Senate to fulfill the same need which never came to fruition. However, the two organizations are now working together with Student Senate providing the funds and products and PERIOD. providing the manpower.
“Entering a classroom as a bleeding body is not easy, is often uncomfortable, and, quite honestly, can be very distracting especially when you are feeling far from equipped,” Nourhan Hamadi, the president of Student Senate stated in a document listing the body’s reasons for supporting the initiative. “If a person is bleeding from any other part of the body besides the vagina the proper supplies would be provided, but I guess menstruation is just too goddamn special.”
Student Senate fully funded the program with $250 on the first round of PERIOD.’s pilot program and $350 on the second. However, there are no plans for a third round.
“Essentially, our job is to make ourselves obsolete,” Gordan said. “We want the university to be able to provide the products that the students need on their own.”
President M. Roy Wilson is reportedly open to discussions of putting in permanent machines in campus restrooms.
The baskets are now available in the female and gender inclusive restrooms at the locations listed above. Each basket contains 10 tampons and 10 pads that are available for free to any student in need.
For more information and updates on PERIOD., check out their Facebook page.