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  • June Park

25¢ away from saving a white jean: Lack of feminine product on campus

Empty, unmaintained feminine product dispenser that require a quarter coin change

Free feminine products should be a given, particularly for young female students at school. At the Stevenson vs. Marina football game on Saturday, 24 of September, I felt that familiar, yet unpleasant sensation on my seat on the bleachers. I hurriedly walked to the field restroom and confirmed that I had started my period. Left stunned and without any pads, I called my friend, but she couldn’t help me; however, she offered to return to the campus with me to search the bathrooms, expecting the mission to be an easy one. We began our journey off in the Rosen restrooms - no luck. The Talbott bathrooms were locked over the weekend. No products in the Chapel or Keck auditorium or the dining hall. We visited the health center, but we were too late - it was closed. Nothing in Douglas either. Finally, in the science building, we found a dispenser! But it was empty, and required a quarter anyway. With no way to stop the bloody time bomb, tears began to well in my eyes, looking down at the bright white jeans I wore for the white-out theme.

How far should someone have to travel to help herself stop bleeding? Two girls had to give up watching a part of their school’s football game, missed the first performance by the dance team, searched the entire campus restrooms for nearly half an hour, and finally had to bring an additional friend to go into her dorm for her pads. Before this incident, I was never aware that there was such a lack of feminine products in our bathrooms. Now, the first thing I do in a restroom at school is look for if there are accessible products, and I am concerned about our school’s lack of feminine products in most restrooms.

These dispensers in the Rosen restroom require a quarter for a pad or tampon. But what if you don't have any change on you?

Hannah Vancleave, a 9th grade day student, believes that the bathrooms “definitely should [carry feminine hygiene products].” When asked her opinion on the dispensers that charge 25¢, she answered, “This is a boarding school! They can’t do that! They need to have [products] available when it’s needed.” Our school is definitely not a school that needs the extra income of 25 cents per pad and tampon and “they have the means and the resources to help [students]... Especially with boarders, you can only go to Target every once in a while. You can’t always be prepared - things happen.”

Anyone would agree with her statements. No matter how old a woman is, there’s no way for her to know when her period is going to start. When it hits, she should be able to go to any restroom at school and use pads and tampons - for free.

“As a human in a woman’s body, I don’t always know to the minute when I will start my period, and if in the bathroom I may not have change on me, but I need supplies. Besides, who has change these days anyway?”

said Nurse Sanborn in her interview. She’s right; just like carrying around change, having to pay for feminine products in a restroom is outdated.


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