They’re only a quarter, but many students need help covering the cost of menstrual products.
In a survey by The Period Project, 93.2 percent of respondents said they have been without menstrual products when they needed them.
One in three respondents said they have been forced to stay home from school or work because they were without menstrual products.
“I have often had to choose between eating or having menstrual products while I have been in college,” one respondent said.
The Period Project is helping solve that problem with its “Take a Tampon, Leave a Tampon” initiative, the first of its kind in the state.
The Period Project has been providing free tampons, pads and menstrual cups in Baker Center and Alden Library for about two years.
The small organization had trouble keeping up with demand for the products, Maddie Sloat, the founder of The Period Project and East Green senator for Ohio University Student Senate, said. The organization decided to reach out to Student Senate for funding.
“We don’t have the institutional capacity to maintain the project, but senate does,” Sloat said. “Up until this point, we were the ones filling the basket.”
A resolution to fund the initiative passed in the senate unanimously with one abstention at its meeting Oct. 25.
Sloat said it will make for a smoother and more consistent process for stocking the baskets with pads and tampons.
The senate will now allocate 8.5 percent of its starting budget, which is $1,850 this academic year, toward filling baskets in Alden Library and Baker Center with menstrual products. That buys nearly 7,000 tampons and pads.
“Because we’re buying in bulk, it is significantly cheaper,” Women’s Affairs Commissioner Hannah Burke said.
Karinne Hill, president of The Period Project and a previous Post columnist, said the group is now looking for money from other sources.
“We’re happy that products will be in Baker and Alden from now on,” Hill said. “But we’re not under any illusion that this fixes the problem.”
Hill said The Period Project has reached out to Vice President for Student Affairs and interim Chief Diversity Officer Jason Pina to discuss using student fees to bring menstrual products to a wider selection of on-campus bathrooms.
The group will also reach out to Housing and Residence Life to expand their projects to residence halls, Hill said.