The student services committee of the University of Connecticut’s Undergraduate Student Government will be hosting a discussion Tuesday night about increasing accessibility to sanitary products across campus, said student services director Derek Pan.
The initiative,“Tampon Time,” focuses on implementing dispensers in various buildings on campus that offer free tampons and pads to students who need these products, Pan said. It will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Student Union.
Currently, Homer Babbidge Library, the cultural centers and the recreation center have dispensers in their bathrooms.
“The event is going to be more of a discussion to help students learn how to get involved in the initiative,” Pan said. “We do need volunteers to fill the dispensers, and we are coordinating with various service organizations across campus because they want to have their members involved.”
Pan said at the moment, Tampon Time does not require many volunteers since there aren’t many locations with dispensers on campus yet.
“If we’re looking to expand the scope of this initiative to include more bathrooms, then we definitely do need more volunteers,” Pan said.
Student Services volunteers will be distributing care packages to those who visit. The package includes a #tampontime sticker, a tampon, a box of maxi pads and a key chain, Pan said.
For the future, the committee is trying to bring the movement to administration in order to gain proper funding to expand the dispenser count, Pan said.
“We are going to start a petition to get the university to help fund this because they have the manpower and the logistics to make it campus-wide,” Pan said. “Student services has been working on this for the last two years and we’ve only been able to coordinate dispensers at very specific locations, but if we want to make it accessible campus-wide then we need admin on board.”
USG passed a revision of the initiative in February, which included a request to administration for university aid in funding the expansion of the dispensers across campus.
The goal of the event is to help bring attention to some of the issues on campus regarding a lack of accessibility for feminine products.
“We want to increase discussion about menstrual products and future pathways if we want to expand it and get university backing financial-wise,” Pan said.
Priyanka Thakkar, the USG comptroller and point person for the event, said she hopes Tampon Time will help students realize the needs of those on campus who have periods.
“I want all students to be aware of menstruation but also be aware that females are not the only ones who menstruate, but also those who may identify themselves as male,” Thakkar said. “Products like these should be provided like toilet paper, it’s inconvenient that students do not have access to these as easily.”
Thakkar said the sporadic nature of periods often makes it difficult for students to be fully prepared at all times.
“Having your period is unpredictable and often you can’t find products when you need it. It’s especially hard when you are a student and have many other things to focus on,” Thakkar said. “Having these products accessible is extremely important.”
Thakkar said she is grateful to the other UConn organizations that have stepped up and helped Student Services in creating and executing Tampon Time.
“I want to thank the cultural centers, the library and the recreation center for their continuous support on this initiative,” Thakkar said.
Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.