The goal of the petition is to provide free menstrual
products in public bathrooms across campus
Evan White ’18 has started the Free Tampon Collective, a petition started on change.org. The petition’s goal is “to provide tampons, free of charge, in central bathrooms on campus,” so that students who need menstrual products will always have access to them.
“I’ve been aware of students at Wooster who are unable to afford menstrual products […] My hope for this initiative is to provide students who are in need of menstrual care with proper support,” said White.
White got the idea for the petition on a 2008 visit to Butler University, where they noticed baskets of menstrual care products in every female bathroom. They were reminded of it later on when they noticed students at Wooster struggle to find access to the hygiene products they needed.
The project aims to provide tampons free of charge, not just for students who might not have immediate access to hygiene products but also for those who may not be able to afford them.
The petition asserts that “having access to tampons for some College of Wooster students just isn’t fiscally possible. [The College] should provide meaningful resources to marginalized groups on campus.”
Although MacLeod’s does sell tampons, the petition does not consider this an acceptable solution, asserting that “While the C-Store […]provides tampons, they are poorly made and have uncomfortable cardboard applicators.”
The petition goes on to point out that the nearest alternative location to purchase tampons is the Drug Mart on Beall Ave., a significant walk from campus that would be inconvenient for students who menstruate unexpectedly.
The petition is addressed to Dean of Students and Vice President for Student Affairs Scott Brown and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
When reached for comment, Dean Brown, who also leads the student affairs division of the College administration, said that he hadn’t received any petitions yet.
However, Brown said, “I always listen to students’ concerns, no matter what form,” including petitions. “My goal is to get a sense of the truly central concern, and see the best way we might address it balancing any competing issues.”
As for his idea of what an initial implementation of the petition’s goals might look like, Brown said “with any issue like this, we might consider a pilot in Wellness, CDI or high traffic restrooms closer to academic buildings.”
As of press time, the petition has 227 signatures of the 500 signature benchmark.
White currently plans on meeting with VOX’s executive board and attending their general meeting this week on Wednesday, April 19.
VOX is the sexual-health group affiliated with Planned Parenthood responsible for the campus-wide free condom service.