U of M project will provide free pads, tampons on campus

Products will be available in women’s, gender neutral washrooms

The U of M will provide menstrual products in campus bathrooms as part of a new pilot project to combat period poverty.

The university hopes to combat period poverty-—a term for lack of access to menstrual products—by stocking pads and tampons in eight bathrooms in University Centre and one bathroom each at the Bannatyne and William Norrie campuses.

Menstrual products will be available in women’s and gender neutral bathrooms in order to increase access to products for all those who menstruate.

UMSU released a statement announcing the project on Feb. 9.

“Period poverty and stigma surrounding menstruation are very real issues impacting people around the world and in our province,” the statement read.

“Menstruation is a part of human existence and no person should have to sacrifice their education because of it.”

The statement noted that the program would help students struggling with rising living costs due to inflation.

UMSU vice-president advocacy Victoria Romero and UMSU women’s representative Christine Yasay have worked in collaboration with U of M vice-provost (students) Laurie Schnarr to establish the program. Schnarr has agreed to allocate about $70,000 to fund the project.

Other schools such as the University of British Columbia and the University of Ottawa have implemented similar programs.

Products will also be available at select UMSU community representatives’ centres. UMSU also plans to put a call out for donations of pads and tampons at the university’s foodbank.