VIU: Commit to Free Menstrual Products for All Staff and Students

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The Vancouver Island University Students’ Union (VIUSU) believes that students and staff at Vancouver Island University have a right to access free and readily available menstrual products on campus.  The current situation of for-profit menstrual products on campus is abysmal and is no different than if VIU charged for the use of toilet paper on campus – an obviously unacceptable scenario. We believe that to allow this situation to persist is a moral failing on the part of VIU that affects many but disproportionally so, women students and staff from participating in an equitable work and educational experience.

VIUSU has been providing free menstrual products for several years and in the last year has signed The United Way’s Period Promise making a firm commitment to providing these products in the Students’ Union building. Providing free menstrual products is increasingly common – many businesses, as well as elementary and secondary public schools have already made this commitment. With an estimated 5000 people on VIU campuses menstruating each month, there is absolutely a need to address this, to ensure an equitable learning and working environment.

Over the course of the last year, VIUSU representatives have met with and encouraged the university to make this commitment, have provided evidence of the woeful state of VIU’s for-profit, yet frequently empty menstrual product dispensers, and demonstrated the financial and logistical feasibility of providing this service. VIU has been silent while over half of the campus population continues to experience persistent inequality. Please sign this petition if you believe that VIU needs to be a leader in our community and recognize that it has an obligation to commit to providing free menstrual products on campus for all students or staff who need them.