The National Residence Hall Honorary partnered with the Residence Hall Association and Planned Parenthood to provide baskets, like this one in the women’s bathroom in the Reed Library. Photo by Taylor Hutchison.
The National Residence Hall Honorary partnered with the Residence Hall Association and Planned Parenthood to provide baskets full of pads and tampons in the women’s and gender neutral bathrooms this week at Fort Lewis College.
NRHH wanted to do this to help students who do not have the resources to access pads and tampons, Lindsay Boggess, the president of NRHH, said.
Another goal of this event was to make menstruation less of a taboo, Meara Cotton, the Crofton Hall Residence Director, said.
The pads and tampons were purchased from Planned Parenthood, who offered them to NRHH for a low price, Boggess said.
NRHH receives a portion of student fees and uses that money to pay for the pads and tampons, Cotton said.
Last year, the initiative started with just menstruation stations. This year, NRHH has made it a goal to take this last week of women’s history month and dedicate it to menstruation, she said.
In addition to the menstruation stations, NRHH has hosted a drawing for menstrual cups at a table in the Student Union and other events, like a dance on Monday night, she said.
When tabling in the Student Union, Planned Parenthood has also offered to help teach students more about about menstruation, she said.
“Their educational piece is that they talk about how much we spend on menstrual products which is, over a lifetime, anywhere between $25,000 to $5,000, which is just outrageous,” Boggess said.
This year, NRHH will refill the menstruation stations until graduation, she said.
NRHH also hosted other menstruation related events this week, like a menstruation celebration on Monday, where guests made period trackers with beads, talked about issues like stress relief and listened to music by female artists. On Tuesday, there was yoga lead by a yoga instructor who specialized in menstrual cramp relief and on Wednesday, there was a screening of “Period. End of Sentence,” Cotton said.
Cotton also said that this is important to the college because menstruation is something that half of the population experiences, so it should be less taboo.
“I also think that we aren't trying to target just the women’s restrooms, we’re trying to target as many people who have uteruses as possible,” Cotton said.