Students for Access to Menstrual Equity

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Students deserve access to menstrual equity at George Brown College. Therefore, we hope to see the following offered to students.

1. Free menstrual products (pads and tampons) in all washrooms at George Brown College, St. James Campus. 

2. Educational materials that discuss menstrual equity, reproductive justice, and access to education promoted by the college. 

As co-founders of SAME - Students for Access to Menstrual Equity, we are committed to bringing this issue from out of the bottom of purses and bags, and into the light. The intent of this organization is to increase access to menstrual products through the equitable distribution of resources within the college. SAME believes that menstrual products, namely pads and tampons, should be offered in school bathrooms to students, free of charge.

By working together, we can increase access to menstrual equity for people who bleed. The resources required for a project of this scale would include lobbying power, financial resources and awareness material for distribution in school washrooms. Access to menstrual resources affects a student’s ability to learn, and the College has a responsibility to upholding that right. Already George Brown does so much to ensure a student’s comfort and ease when embarking on their education, this is an important next step to realizing access for all.

While these menstrual means would be most useful in female and all-gendered washrooms, it is encouraged to offer them in all washrooms, simultaneously resourcing a community in need, and breaking the social stigma around menstruation, a perfectly natural human experience. This is where educational documents could be helpful in conversing about periods and menstruation.

George Brown could be a leader in creating expanded opportunity to students in need, and it starts with you. As Director of Student Affairs, you play a role in the student experience. We could easily implement these changes on a campus-by-campus pilot project by working with menstrual product distributers to obtain the resources for free for the primary phase. Several department offices already offer pads and tampons when possible, but students still remain grossly under-serviced. We are forced to forage the campus for spare pads and tampons, or walk several blocks to the nearest pharmacy and spend the little money that we have as students.

After seeing how this pilot meets student need, we can work together to survey students on the utility of these resources, preferences, and seek suggestion for improvement. SAME is a group of students who understand the need for services and the role the College can play in fulfilling this need. George Brown can begin the pilot project and set a precedent within GTA schools, boldly stating that students who bleed matter.  We are currently in the process of working with donors and local feminist activists to create awareness and stock to start.

Students in the Assaulted Women and Children’s Counsellor and Advocate program agree, menstrual equity is the way to go. SAME knows that women and people who bleed face more financial strife and social discomfort, and this marginally affects our education. George Brown can be a leader in challenging this marginalization. By providing free pads and tampons in campus washrooms, so that students can spend more time in the classroom where we belong.