Period. End of Sentence, a half-hour film that highlights the importance of affordable menstrual products to women and girls in a rural Indian village, was named the Best Documentary Short at the 2019 Academy Awards presentation. The accolade puts the previously taboo subject into the national, if not global, conversation.
It’s a conversation that the Colorado State University community has been having since 2016. A survey of CSU students and employees found that both groups have reported leaving campus when they start their periods during the middle of the day, thus missing valuable time in class or at work.
A pilot program that placed pads and tampons at no charge in All Gender restrooms in 15 buildings on campus was deemed a success by the Division of Student Affairs. Now free period products will become available in more than 300 All Gender restrooms on campus by the beginning of Fall 2019 semester.
“Free products will also be available in 53 women’s restrooms in building locations where limited or no All Gender facilities exist,” explained Neal Luján, director of the RamCard office, who chaired the Period Products on Campus Task Force. “That was part of our recommendations – for evaluation to continue to identify additional locations where there is a need, both on campus and in leased partnership spaces.”
Installation this semester
Installation of additional dispensers is set to begin this semester. (See the Inclusive Resources tab on the interactive campus map for locations)
“Offering free period products promotes access to resources that may be currently difficult to find on campus, especially if the relatively high cost of the products is prohibitive for those who urgently need them,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Blanche Hughes, who accepted the task force recommendations last fall.
The project is a collaboration among Student Affairs, Facilities Management, the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, the CSU Health Network and Student Diversity Programs and Services.
“Supplying free period products supports general health and well-being on campus like other standard supplies offered free of charge in our campus restrooms — toilet paper, paper towels, and hand soap,” Luján said.
More information is available on the Facilities Management website; a new dedicated website is under development.