The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

Emerson Swoger

Period hygiene products will now be free at NKU.

‘Tampon Revolution’ to provide free products in NKU bathrooms

December 17, 2018

With the help of Student Government Association, NKU is making the change to offer free period products in all women’s restrooms on campus.

During the fall 2018 semester, SGA President Hannah Edelen and the current administration enacted a resolution first introduced under former president Sami Dada’s administration last school year.

This resolution, called the “Tampon Revolution”, set out to provide period hygiene product dispensers in every women’s restroom on campus, as well as make period products free to students who need them. The resolution, which passed in April, was written by former SGA Senators Adam Zarnowski, Shelby Sanford and Rebecca Ammerman.

Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Dan Nadler was one of the of the many faculty members who showed their support for this initiative.

“It was easy for me to support this resolution because the Student Government Association worked extremely hard on this initiative and did a great job, including providing the necessary research,” Nadler said.

Nadler said he believes the implementation of the resolution will help enhance the health and wellbeing of the students.

“Making the feminine hygiene products available will help our students feel a greater sense of confidence should they experience an unexpected start of their cycle.This initiative also reflects a nationwide trend of making these items available free of charge,” he said.

The resolution resolves that period hygiene products are just as important to the health and wellness of NKU students as hygiene products like soap and paper towels, but when period hygiene dispensers are damaged, in the past they have not been replaced.

“Feminine product dispensers were removed from the Science Center building after being vandalized well over 10 years ago and never replaced,” the resolution states.

This resolution came after University of Louisville passed a similar initiative to have dispensers installed on both their main campus as well as their satellite campuses.

In 2015, Americans spent about $3.1 billion on period hygiene products, according to Euromonitor. Approximately half of the United States population experiences a menstruation cycle. Many who experience menstruation experience their first period around age 12, and on average menstrual cycles do not stop until around age 50, according to Planned Parenthood.

Many women across the world have brought the issue of the “pink tax” to light. This includes a discussion about the gap in cost between period products and other sexual health products, like condoms.

“Condoms, while essential to the sexual health of students, are not biologically necessary…yet students are provided free of charge,” the resolution reads. “Necessary feminine hygiene product dispensers on campus remain and will remain coin-operated.”

Before the resolution passed, 35 bathrooms on campus did not carry period hygiene products.

Emerson Swoger

Before the resolution was finally passed, there were 35 women’s restrooms on campus that did not have period hygiene product dispensers.

Because this is a new program, it is not well-known across campus that period hygiene products are now available freely around campus.

“I’m so happy to see the resolution in action and to see the positive response. Feminine hygiene products should be accessible to everyone and it’s great to see NKU taking this step,” Ammerman said.

Some students have shown interest and excitement in this resolution. Junior theatre major Brittany Morton said how much easier it will now be for her and other students who may start their menstrual cycle without notice.

“I’d like to see it have products available not only in the bathrooms, but throughout the buildings, so its more accessible to students,” Morton said.

Senior electronic media & broadcasting major Hannah Flynn said that although this introduction of free period products comes shortly before she graduates, she is glad it will exist for current and future NKU students who need it.

“Emergencies happen, but it’s really nice to have that convenience,” Flynn said.

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