Due to the efforts of a student-led initiative, the Wes Period Project, access to free menstrual products will be guaranteed to Wesleyan students.
Currently, pads and tampons are available at the Resource Center and Usdan Information Desk for free or for purchase at Weshop and the Davison Health Center, but organizers set out to make menstrual supplies, including reusable menstrual cups, even more accessible for students.
“The Wes Period Project was created to provide free, sustainable menstrual products to all menstruating individuals on campus,” the project’s summary reads. “We believe that everyone should have the right to comprehensive knowledge and to make decisions about their own health.”
The project will provide a free, reusable Lunette Menstrual Cup to every student that wants one. While each student may only receive one free menstrual cup during their time at Wesleyan, the cups will also be available for purchase at Davison Health Center for $14, which is well below the market price for the product. Green Fund Financial Manager Catherine Xi ’21, one of the leaders of the project, told The Argus that 120 students have already ordered menstrual cups.
Free tampons and pads will also be provided on campus as part of the project. These products are made by LOLA, a company that prides itself on producing completely organic tampons and pads, and will be stocked in the Resource Center, Davison Health Center, and in the basement of Usdan.
Xi spoke about how providing free and sustainable menstrual products was an obvious project for the Green Fund to support.
“I think that offering free menstrual products just seems like a no-brainer,” she wrote in an email. “We have two goals with this project: to improve equity by providing a resource for students who are unable to afford to purchase pads and tampons, and making sure periods are not a burden for menstruating individuals.”
The project was started after a number of students noticed a lack of affordable and accessible menstrual products on the University’s campus.
“Ever since I joined the WSA [Wesleyan Student Assembly] at the beginning of my sophomore year, I’ve been interested in increasing accessibility to menstrual products after seeing the, in my opinion, outrageous price points for products at Weshop, as well as knowing that getting products off campus is not an option for everyone,” said WSA Senator Ayana Dudley ’20, who is involved in the Wes Period Project.
In addition to making products accessible, Resource Center Gender and Sexuality Intern Kisanet Bezabih ’20, who was involved in founding the Wes Period Project, noted that the product pick-up stations will be in discrete locations.
“A lot of the narrative around period justice has to do with being ‘big, loud, and proud’ about your period and I think that is great, but not everyone is there,” Bezabih wrote in an email. “That is why we are setting up our product pick-up stations in a way that allows students to get what they need without interacting with anyone in the process.”
Those who are interested in receiving a free menstrual cup can order one online, and anyone who is interested in volunteering to support the project by leading educational workshops, distributing products, or designing and marketing the project, can sign up online.
Organizers hope that all of the products will be ready to be distributed to students by the end of April. The project was funded by the Green Fund, the Resource Center, and WesWell. Additional support was provided by the Resource Center, the WSA, Adolescent Sexual Health Awareness (ASHA), and the Eco Facilitators.
Claire Isenegger can be reached at email@example.com.