On a brisk Wednesday night, 105 students gathered in Space24 Twenty to talk about menstrual health: tackling taboos, de-stigmatizing Aunt Flo’s monthly appearance, and sharing funny and enlightening stories. This event, called “Let’s Talk, Period,” launched the 2016 Orange Jackets Tappee Class year-long service project: Project Period.
As a part of Orange Jackets’ annual Week of Women, “Let’s Talk, Period” featured student testimonials, a fishbowl discussion, and a Q&A with Shannon E. Cavanagh, a representative from the Women and Gender Studies Department who was present to answer health questions.
While brainstorming the project in September 2016, our Tap class realized the scarcity of emergency tampons and pads in buildings throughout campus. These personal hygiene products are taxed, stigmatized, and generally undervalued despite their immense impact on people’s ability to go about their daily lives. In response, many businesses, schools, and universities are offering free sanitary products to students and employees.
Our goal for Project Period is to provide free pads and tampons in high-traffic buildings across campus, ensuring that all students on campus have a reliable safety net when “Aunt Flo” decides to pay a visit. Our event, “Let’s Talk, Period,” was the first prong in a campaign to tackle the taboo of menstruation and educate students on accompanying issues. The second prong aims to supply free, emergency pads and tampons in high-traffic buildings across campus through a two week campus-wide drive. To gather more donations, we are reaching out to organizations for donation support, publicizing menstrual health information on social media, and tabling throughout the next two weeks.