Free menstrual products offered on campus

Maddy Haberberger

Free menstrual products offered across campus from on Vimeo.

This semester, Undergraduate Student Government is providing free menstrual products to students in restrooms across Kent State’s campus. Claire Weihe, the Senator for the College of Public Health, helped bring the project to life, researching Ohio University’s “Take a Tampon, Leave a Tampon” initiative for inspiration and ideas.

“USG started a take a tampon leave a tampon initiative as well but the goal was in the end to get free menstrual products into all of the restrooms across campus,” Weihe said. The products are currently available in the university’s most-trafficked women’s and universal restrooms, with some locations including The Student Center, Library and Bowman Hall.  

Students at Kent State are impressed by the inclusivity of the campaign.“I think it’s amazing that all of the pads and tampons are in the universal restrooms that are found on campus, therefore whatever gender you identify with you’re able to have access to the resources that Kent State’s providing,” freshman music major Kailey Klimkowski said.

100% organic cotton pads and tampons are provided by Aunt Flow, a Columbus based company that supports “people helping people, period.”

“We as an undergraduate student government wanted to support a brand that is sustainable and ethically based,” Weihe said of USG picking Aunt Flow. 

Thirty-seven states, Ohio being one of them, have a “luxury tax” in place on menstrual products, meaning that state sales tax is provided to pads and tampons. Although some states such as New York, Pennsylvania and Florida have chosen to do away with the tax, the cost of menstrual products is still a detriment to some students.

“It’s not a luxury for us to have to buy these things, these are necessities,” said freshman Communication Studies major Sarah Crabtree. “So, I think it’s great that Kent State is providing necessities for their students.”