Home Campus Student Senate votes to fund free tampon initiative

Student Senate votes to fund free tampon initiative

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Student Senate 2017-18. File photo by Connor Perrett

The Period Project is determined to help students at Ohio U gain access to menstrual products. Now, Student Senate is helping.

Senate allocates funding for ‘Take a tampon, leave a tampon’

The ‘Take a tampon, leave a tampon’ initiative received $1,850 from Student Senate to purchase 6,690 tampons to distribute among bathrooms around Ohio University to compensate for the lack of tampon dispensers in school bathrooms. The resolution was passed unanimously.  

The group responsible for the initiative is The Period Project. The president of the organization is Karinne Hill, who addressed Senate during the speakout portion of the meeting.

“We are seeking funding tonight because we are astonished by how quickly this program has outgrown our organization,” Hill said.

The program, which has been going on for two years, is the first of its kind among universities in the state of Ohio. The leaders of the initiative leave the first tampons in the public restrooms, and any passersby is free to either take a tampon if needed or leave a tampon if they choose.

According to a survey done by the initiative, 92 percent of survey respondents claimed that they have been without menstrual products when they needed them.  

The same survey also found that one in three respondents have been forced to not attend a school or work function because they did not have access to menstrual products.

The ‘Take a tampon, leave a tampon’ initiative will be contracting Aunt Flow, a Columbus-based company whose focus is sustainable tampons and pads made of 100 percent cotton with no dyes or chemicals.  

The CEO of the company has agreed to donate 10 percent of the profits back to the Athens community.

Eight bathrooms on campus have been chosen for the weekly distribution process. Five of the bathrooms selected are located in Baker Center, and the other three are in Alden Library. Two of the bathrooms being supplied are gender-neutral.

The resolution was proposed by Women’s Affairs Commissioner Hannah Burke, who said she was “excited to see Senate be a part of this change.”

The resolution to fund this project will represent 8.5 percent of the Senate’s requestable funding.

Other notable happenings

  1. A resolution was passed to add application guidelines to access the Student Senate budget. A chair to the Budget Committee was appointed as well. The budget committee now has a minimum requirement of two members, with a maximum of seven members.
  2. A senator was appointed to the Minority Affairs Commission.  
  3. A senator was was appointed to the Off-Campus Commission.
  4. Senate allocated funding for office supplies.
  5. Senate allocated funding for the Off-Campus Commission’s neighborhood picnic.
  6. Participants in the Ohio Student Governance Association delivered an update to Student Senate.
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