Vancouver Island University will put menstrual products in all women’s and gender-neutral washrooms at all VIU campuses.
The university issued a press release announcing the initiative this week, just before the start of the United Way’s Period Promise campaign to raise awareness about a lack of access to menstrual products and to try to respond.
VIU said it “soft-launched” the initiative this past fall in the library, cafeteria and gymnasium, and observed a clear need for the products.
“No one should have the experience of going without these necessary products while learning,” said Irlanda Gonzalez Price, VIU’s associate vice-president of student affairs, in the release.
She thanked the VIU Students’ Union for bringing the issue to the university’s attention and partnering on the rollout of the initiative.
VIU said bins are currently being installed to provide free of charge an “array” of menstrual products including tampons, pads and panty liners.
“Menstrual inequity impacts us all,” said Cole Reinbold, VIUSU women students’ representative, in the release. “It’s a relief to know that people who menstruate can now participate in our campus community with one less barrier to overcome.”
United Way’s Period Promise campaign starts Friday, May 6 and continues until June 7. The agency is hoping to collect more than 700,000 menstrual products, about 200,000 more than last year’s goal, through a mix of financial contributions and donated products.
United Way says its research shows that 26 per cent of people who menstruate in B.C. have gone through a period when they didn’t have menstrual products available to them.
For more information about the campaign, visit www.periodpromise.ca.