Emerson College plans to start providing menstrual products for gender-neutral and men’s bathrooms this summer. The initial petition was formed in 2022, and Vice President of Student Life Jim Hoppe approved $7,000 for the project.
Many women’s bathrooms have period products
Many women’s bathrooms already have menstrual products, like tampons or pads. Emerson’s pilot program started years ago and will now be finished.
Emerson Flows started the initiative
Emerson Flows is “an advocacy and education-based organization dedicated to fighting for inclusivity, menstrual equality, and de-stigmatization of menstruation and periods.” The organization started a petition in April 2022.
The organization also donates menstrual products
Emerson Flow provides period products to the Boston area shelters and closely works with the Emerson administration to assure “free and easy access to menstrual products” across the campus.
The college has three locations
Apart from Boston, Massachusetts, Emerson has facilities in Los Angeles, California, and Well, Limburg, Netherlands.
The petition was signed by 408 students
After it surpassed 400 signatures, Vice President of Student Life Jim Hoppe approved $7,000 for the project, The Berkeley Beacon reported.
Emerson Flows president Emily Lang speaks up
Lang shared, “I noticed an insufficient amount … [and a] lack of period products in not just all Emerson restrooms, but also in women’s rooms. I was seeing evidence of period products not being restocked as often as we were told they were going to be.”
Lang talked about period poverty
“Period poverty is really prevalent, especially with college students, [some of whom] are having to work multiple jobs just to afford tuition,” Lang said.
Four percent tuition increase
Lang added that this was a necessary move, “Especially with the recent four percent tuition hike here at Emerson, students shouldn’t have to choose between paying for period products or paying for tuition and other necessities … So we wanted to lift that burden off of students.”
Lang explained that “the majority of the menstruators at this school are cis[gender] women; we should still treat men who also menstruate with the same level of respect.”
Proof of value
Lang shared that this project means, “You get period products just like everyone else, and you get the same amount because you’re just as valid.”
A student supports this decision
Camryn Ciancia, an Emerson student, told Beacon: “Healthcare is a human right, and part of healthcare is having ample supplies for when your period happens.”
Period products are not a privilege
Ciancia added, “It shouldn’t be privilege-based to get period care … Emerson tries to be inclusive, and the best way to be inclusive is to make sure that there are resources available for everyone whenever they need it.”
The project will start in July
Emerson will start providing menstrual products in all bathrooms from July 1, 2023.
More initiatives were started in 2019
Before Covid-19, many talked about inclusivity in bathrooms, as well as the lack of period products in public places.
86% of people started their period in public
In a survey in 2013, a shocking 86 percent of U.S. women aged 18 to 54 reported that they’ve started their period unexpectedly in public. The need for period products in all public places is still a dream for most places.
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