USG collaborates to address period poverty, confirms Earth Fest

Jillian Schrift, Reporter

A collaboration to help address period poverty in local schools was announced at the latest Undergraduate Student Government meeting March 8.

USG has partnered with Isobel Day – Kent’s current Newman Civic Fellow – and the Women’s Center for this project. There will be a volunteer event to create menstruation kits as part of Day’s “Go with the Flo” project. It will take place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. March 14 at the Williamson House.

These menstruation kits will be distributed to Kent City Schools to provide for the students, further destigmatizing the perception of periods. They will include menstrual hygiene products such as different size pads and tampons, cosmetic bags and underwear to help with the crisis of period poverty.

Period poverty is the lack of access to menstrual products, hygiene facilities, waste management and education.

According to the Journal of Global Health Reports, 500 million people lack access to menstrual products and hygiene, and 16.9 million people who menstruate in the United States are living in poverty.

“It’s a really great initiative and helps raise awareness for the Period Project,” said Carla Thigpen, the senator for the Ambassador Crawford College of Business and Entrepreneurship.

The collection drive began March 1 and will last 28 to 35 days with collection bins located at the Williamson House, Student Recreation and Wellness Center, Center for Undergraduate Excellence and the Kent State Student Center.

Along with the Go with the Flo initiative, Kent State hosted its first hygiene drive during USG’s Week of Kindness. All items go to benefit students and the Crisis, Advocacy, Resources, Education and Support Center. They collected four boxes filled with 20 sticks of deodorant, 20 toothbrushes, 20 toothpaste, 20 floss, 20 mouthwash, 5 packages of period products, 15 shampoos, 15 conditioners and more, said Riley Elersich, director of community affairs.

In addition, USG confirmed that Earth Fest will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 18 on Risman Plaza. This is to promote sustainability on campus, engage students in educational activities and inspire students to take action in the movement for sustainability, said Niko Magda, director of student advancement. There will be music, information, giveaways and prize drawings.

“There will be a booth where we can ask students random sustainability related questions, such as ‘How long does it take for a water bottle to naturally biodegrade?’” Magda said. “If they get the answer right, they get a prize. If they don’t, they get another shot to answer another question.”

The next public USG meeting will be held March 22 at 5:30 p.m. in the Student Governance Chambers.

Jillian Schrift is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].