top of page

The case of the missing menstrual products

Ali Rei

Opinion’s Editor

I bleed, you bleed, some of us bleed once a month! My name is Ali Rei, I’m a senior here at Rhode Island College, and man I am forgetful. Between juggling homework, work, studying and other priorities, I often forget to pack my bag with the essentials: menstrual products. Luckily sometimes I’m able to walk into a public bathroom if I’m out and about and will find free menstrual products on the wall! Other times, I am greeted with the dreaded menstrual product dispensary machine, which makes me give money for products I need. However, when I’m at school and in a pinch, I noticed something: RIC has no menstrual products available in the bathrooms… at all.

I mean seriously, this is a travesty. How are you not going to provide menstrual products at a school that has a student body consisting of 71% women? Such disparities on the school’s end really puzzle me at times; we have the money for other things like handing out gift cards and free merchandise, but their wallets seem to shut when it comes to providing the support we actually need. It appears others have caught on to this pressing matter; I was recently informed that some faculty and staff have come together to donate their own money and supplies to provide menstrual products on the first and second floors of most academic buildings. I think this is a lovely gesture and one that is vastly appreciated, but it is not a long term solution.

Image via (pexels-sora-shimazaki-5938370.jpg)

Public schools in Rhode Island starting in the 2022-2023 year will have menstrual products available in all women’s bathrooms and gender neutral bathrooms for grades 5 through 12. Legislation for this equitable move was passed in 2021, stating that these products will be of no charge to students. I suppose RIC didn’t get the memo that we’re starting to provide products to those in need, considering menstrual items are only available in a few places. If public schools in Rhode Island are doing right by their students, why is RIC, a public institution, excluded from that?

Despite the bathrooms being devoid of menstrual products most of the time, there are places you can find the products you need. My first and favorite place to get my essentials is the Unity Center. Located in the quad next to the New Student Programs office, aka the lower level of Donovan Dining, the Unity Center provides not only menstrual products, but other medical products too like contraceptives. Second on my list of places to find products when you’re in a pinch is the Health Services office. Located in the Browne residence hall, Health Services is your one-stop-shop for all things medical. From menstrual products, to concussion testing to simply obtaining some Ibuprofen, Health Services has your back with whatever you need. Personally, and last on my list, I’ve found that asking someone around me for a pad or tampon also works. Truly it’s hit or miss, but it never hurts to try.

Well, will they or won’t they provide products? Will we finally see RIC providing menstrual products to their students, or will we have to continue to rely on ourselves and other sources?

As always, stay safe, make good choices and share a menstrual product if you have it; sharing is caring.



Avaliado com 0 de 5 estrelas.
Ainda sem avaliações

Adicione uma avaliação
bottom of page