Funding for period gear in bathrooms unclear

The Boynton Health Clinic has free supplies at their front desk for anyone to take. Photo credit: Emily Lazear

Abe Rizvi, new Health and Sustainability Senator, is seeking different avenues to fund his campaign for free or cheap tampons and pads in bathrooms at MCTC.

The idea was first announced by Rizvi in a general assembly meeting.

Rizvi met with Jenny Swanson, manager of the Boynton Health Clinic on campus to talk about possibilities of where to find funding for this campaign on Nov. 6.

In the meeting, Swanson said that $3.50 per credit go to keeping the clinic open, stocked and free to all students.

She said though the clinic is committed to women’s health, including IUD installing as well as free tampons across the campus, “the cost is the issue.”

Swanson said that last semester, she was approached by a group of women from a class called Systems of Change, taught by Mary Jamin Maguire. Their class project was to seek out a problem on campus and figure out a solution.

They made an agreement with Swanson before ending up with $500 from Student Life Budget Committee to buy 10 shipping boxes of maxi pads. The clinic is still going through them, but the supply will eventually stop, as this was a one time grant.

Swanson said that about 10 packs of tampons, sent by Kotex as a part of a federal grant whose origin and status is currently unknown, are taken from the front desk daily.

City College News polled 10 people, five women, and five men, about the prospect of paying up to 50 cents per credit on top of their tuition to pay for tampon and pad bins in all the women’s bathrooms, as well as the gender neutral bathrooms.

While nine said yes, and one said no, depending on his income and willingness to spend money, some had reservations about why they would have to pay for something so basic to human needs.

“Fuck yeah! But it would be better if it was just free,” said Emily Schoonover, a Liberal Arts student.

There are free tampons and pads at the front desk in the clinic, but Swanson stressed that people shouldn’t depend on the clinic to supply them protection for their whole periods.

Rizvi sees this as a larger problem than just our campus.

“This shouldn’t just be at our community college,” he said. “This should be everywhere.”

If you’re stressed about period supplies, visit Students Against Hunger and Homelessness on the first floor of the Helland Center, near the C Store. They’re now taking donations of sealed boxes of pads, tampons and other period gear.

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