Editor's Note: Language in this article has been updated to indicate that the free menstrual products are for all Auburn students.
After years of advocating for and raising awareness of the importance of menstrual equity, the affordability, accessibility and safety of menstrual products, the Auburn chapter of PERIOD: the Menstrual Movement, has established 88 locations to provide free menstrual products for Auburn students. The products will be scattered throughout Auburn University’s campus by winter 2021.
The Auburn chapter of PERIOD was established fall 2019. Installing free menstrual products on Auburn’s campus has been a goal of the chapter since its founding.
PERIOD started working to achieve this goal initially by developing survey questions and advocating to different University entities.
“Like many menstrual equity groups, we recognize that accessible, affordable products is a must as menstrual hygiene support is a right not a privilege,” said Emily Kable, vice president and service committee leader of the chapter.
Kable, freshman majoring in chemistry and chemistry education, expressed that 88 locations is just a starting number. PERIOD hopes the installations continue the conversation about the issue of menstrual equity.
“Many school systems, not just at the university level, recognize the necessity of funding these items,” Kable said.
Auburn University is not the first to take these steps. Action taken by universities such as Yale and Columbia has paved the way for Auburn to be able to provide menstrual products to its students.
According to Kable, the difficulty in achieving the goal was not in communicating the importance of the project but in advocacy work, logistics and planning.
PERIOD held meetings with Auburn University Facilities, Housing, Property Management and Women’s Initiatives and Gender Equity. The chapter also underwent survey development and funding from WIGE.
PERIOD has also hosted the Period Proud 5k, Self-Care Yoga and a Jampon concert. They also raise money and spread awareness of menstrual equity by hosting drives and panels that students can get involved in.
For event updates and to see what PERIOD is actively doing in the community and on campus, students can follow @period.auburn on Instagram and check out the group’s website.
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Catherine Haynes, junior in journalism, is the opinion editor for the Auburn Plainsman.