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The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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Aunt Flo coming to campus

Aunt Flo coming to campus

Free Menstrual Product Dispensers to be installed

A new addition is coming to bathrooms across campus. Senior Tina Jeon set forth a plan, spearheaded by the Health and Wellness Committee, of which Jeon is the chairperson, to equip free menstrual product dispensers on campus. 

 Aunt Flo partners with college campuses across the country to provide free menstrual product access to students. After receiving an email from the company, Jeon set up a meeting with them to discuss pricing and availability before then pitching the idea to senate. Jeon says she was also inspired by the condom hotline that we currently have on campus.

“We provide condoms for free and menstrual products are necessary for [people with vaginas]. That could be challenging for some people in terms of financial issues, or sometimes you urgently need it so you don’t have time to go back to your dorm room,” Jeon said.

Aunt Flo will provide both the menstrual products and the dispensers. These will be placed throughout campus in both academic buildings and residential areas, including theme houses. Jeon says it will take until late April or early May to get the dispensers installed. 

In the meantime there will be boxes containing the pads and tampons placed in bathrooms. Jeon also believes it is important for people all across the gender spectrum to have access to these products, which is why the dispensers are being placed in areas accessible to all genders. 

“We are going to place them in houses and the basements of residential halls. There will be two in each academic building. One in the women’s bathroom, one will be in the gender neutral bathroom, so that anyone can comfortably go and get it. For the houses, not a lot of people live there so I don’t think it’s important to have a whole dispenser there so we are going to place little boxes in those houses,” Jeon said.

For Jeon, this issue is personal as well as for the benefit of the Knox community.

“I want people to not be worrying about it. For me, I know that if that happens and I need something urgently, I sometimes really feel nervous or embarrassed asking my friend or somebody. I believe a lot of people feel that too, so I want to expand the access,” Jeon said.

It took three Senate general assemblies from the time that Jeon received the Aunt Flo email to when the idea was approved and the products were on their way.

“As soon as I saw the email I set up a meeting with a person from Aunt Flo and talked about the pricing and how many our school needed. Based on that, we got the brief receipt, and I presented that to GA. I also put a question on the feedback form and it had good responses,” Jeon said.

The products are individually wrapped for hygiene and organic/biodegradable for sustainability. This project received funding through the campus enhancement fund. Jeon believes that more students should be aware of the fund and what it can be used for.

“The campus enhancement fund has quite a lot of money and that money comes from our tuition I believe. It’s not just for senate or senate exec to propose the idea and get the funds, it’s open for anyone to suggest something if you think it’s going to be a project that will enhance campus,” Jeon said.

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