Original article written by Justice Dickey, Xavier Newswire Staff Writer
With the return of students to campus for the fall 2023 semester, some might have noticed free period products in the bathrooms.
In the spring of 2020, an initiative was introduced by the Student Government Association (SGA) to provide free period products to students across campus. In partnership with Aunt Flow, SGA purchased 10 product dispensers and seven units of pads and tampons each.
The Installation Process
Initially, the dispensers were dispersed between the women’s restrooms in the Gallagher Student Center (GSC) and the Health United Building (HUB).
Due to COVID-19, the dispenser implementation was delayed until April 2021, and they were not installed until September 2021 due to staffing gaps. Finally, the installation of the dispensers was completed in March 2022.
The total cost for the dispensers and products was approximately $3,700, which came from SGA’s executive fund. This purchase was expected to last three years. However, the product stock lasted less than nine months.
With the initial launch of these products proving more popular than anticipated, conversations began around expanding access to this resource.
There has been a lot of good feedback on [the installation of the products].SGA Vice President Rebecca Thomas
Thomas spearheaded the expansion of the project to purchase and install 12 additional dispensers over this past summer to be distributed among women’s restrooms in Conaton Learning Center (CLC) and the McDonald Library due to their central location on campus.
Sparking from a request from Xavier’s LGBTQ+ Alliance, the expansion also included the purchase of five display boxes to be placed in the gender-neutral and men’s bathrooms in GSC.
Student Leo Fowler highlighted this as a step towards a more inclusive and accepting campus.
Having period products in the men’s restroom helps me feel visible on campus. Especially because trans men are such a small portion of the student population, having those products available communicates to me that my needs are seen and addressed. It’s a small gesture, but it shows a commitment to supporting our trans community on campus.Leo Fowler