Free menstrual products are now available to students on four campuses

As part of a pilot program, ASU is offering free menstrual products to students at several locations

In April, a group of students marched to Michael Crow's office demanding one thing: menstrual equity. 

Now, ASU has created a pilot program that gives students access to free menstrual products on four campuses. 

The program was pioneered by ASU’s Planned Parenthood Generation Action club and its menstrual equity campaign. Although free products have always been offered at all ASU Health Services centers, the campaign began after students wanted easier access to menstrual health products on campus.

Read more: Students push for menstrual equity on campus 

“All the bathrooms need to be stocked and accessible," said PPGEN President Cat Corbett, a senior studying communication. "(Menstrual products) should just be free for all students."

In September 2018, the club petitioned for free hygiene products in at least one bathroom on the Tempe campus.

"There shouldn't be a luxury tax on these products," Corbett said. "They’re a necessity — like toilet paper."

PPGEN held a rally in April where the group marched across the Tempe campus and delivered approximately 400 signed petitions to President Crow’s office. 

“We went to his office and said, ‘Hey, we're going to drop these petitions, this is a serious matter and this needs to change,’” Corbett said.

Corbett said the group thought it could take years for the program to be put into effect, but shortly after the march, the group met with vice president of student services Jennifer Hightower.

Hightower told the group a pilot program would be put into place during the fall semester on four ASU campuses.

“I think it's a really great example of students identifying a need and working together with the University to address that need,” Hightower said, adding that students have been helpful pointing out challenges.

The program also added gender-inclusive restrooms in community spaces across four ASU campuses.

“(We’re going to) see what it's going to take to maintain the program, and make sure that we can do this consistently and that we can meet the need,” Hightower said. “And then we'll look at how it could expand.”

Vice president of the Planned Parenthood Generation Action, Carla Naranjo, a junior studying political science and justice studies, said the club’s next step is to continue to spread awareness about menstrual equity in hopes of expanding the program to all restrooms at ASU. 

“I think this is kind of a good lesson that no dream is too big,"  Naranjo said. "When students get together to voice their concerns, we really can make a big change in our community.”


Reach the reporter at myarmusg@asu.edu and follow @gannonmikenna on Twitter. 

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