Free Feminine Hygiene Products in UT campus bathrooms

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Free condoms are super accessible on campus, why not pads and tampons? Many bathrooms across campus have useless vending machines that do not even stock pads and tampons, and this is a pressing concern for menstruating individuals. Having access to free pads and tampons can alleviate the concern for 'on-campus emergencies' faced by menstruating individuals. This can be a step towards promoting inclusivity on campus.


Q:But can't you hold in your period?

A: Actually no, you can't. You're probably thinking of this like urinating. Urinating occurs through the urethra, another opening that has sphincters that can allow you to hold in your pee. The vagina, where menstrual blood and clots exit, has no sphincter to hold it in. The reproductive tract and the urinary tract, while close together, are separate from each other.


Q: Why don't you just time your period? Then you can always be prepared and free products won't be necessary.

A: Ahh, don't we all wish it were as easy as that. Generally speaking, periods are regular, however they can naturally vary by a few days. In certain circumstances, periods can be early or late due to changes in stress, diet, exercise, etc. Even with the most precise tracking, one can still end up in a situation where it could be beneficial to have free pads and tampons available.


Q: I don't know anyone who has faced this problem, so why should I care?

A: Wouldn't the world be much more awful if all of us collectively only cared about issues that directly affected ourselves or someone we know? If there is a person in your life who menstruates, it's pretty likely that they've been afflicted with getting their period at an inopportune moment, and having access to pads and tampons is a step towards saying "You're welcome here, you're supported here, and you have a place on campus." Now doesn't that sound nice?


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