Combatting period poverty

Published by Kayla Raynak, Date: March 27, 2024
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To celebrate Women’s History Month, Project Period was brought to SRU to help provide sanitary products to those who menstruate. 

Project Period is a nationwide program and one of the various programs at Butler’s Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA). They work to collect and distribute menstrual supplies to those in need while advocating to make menstrual supplies more affordable.

“The affordability of these products are always an issue,” Elizabeth Short from the YWCA said.

YWCA Butler helps support many people and has been in the community for over 100 years, being one of 200 YWCA associations across the United States.

“Our focus here in Butler County is really on issues of poverty and how they intersect with women and the issue of racism,” Short said.

Carlyne McGurk, a Bonner Leader and the community assistant and program outreach director at the YWCA, worked with Short to bring Project Period to SRU.

Short and McGurk reached out to the Women’s Center and the Panhellenic Council to assist them with the project.

“So, one of the things that we aim to do is just to raise awareness about period poverty, as it is something that impacts a lot of women and just menstruators in general,” McGurk said.

Project Period tabled Tuesday and Thursday during common hour giving away period packs which are bags of tampons and pads meant to last one cycle. Students can also receive these at the Rock Pantry.

The organization also gave away 80 menstrual cups which have a value of $2,400. Menstrual cups provide a more sustainable alternative for pads and tampons.

“That’s something I really like about Project Period, is that it’s open to any and all people who need it,” McGurk said.

The pair is very thankful for the Women’s Center and the Panhellenic Council for assisting them in the project.

“Although it is a small impact it’s still an impact,” McGurk said. “I hope that people and students on this campus are able to use that, that’s something that’s beneficial for them because I really truly think that at the end of the day, as women and also just menstruators in general we should always be supporting each other…because this is a systematic issue that we all face.”

Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance (FMLA) and the Honors College are hosting a Her Drive March 25-31. Individuals have the opportunity to donate various products that will be given to the Rock Pantry for students on campus.

“It’s kind of like we saw a need we’re filling a need of donating feminine hygiene products and other hygiene products to the aren’t like your typical pads, tampons, things of that nature,” Kyra Hoover, the secretary of FMLA, said.

The organizations are collecting various period and hygiene products this week. They will accept pads, tampons, panty liners, dry shampoo, deodorant, makeup remover and more. 

There are donation bins set up in the Bailey Library, SSC Suite and Watson Hall.

Thursday during common hour, the organization will have a table set up with information on the Rock Pantry and the Her Drive. This will also give the opportunity for students to donate.

If Honors College students choose to participate, they can receive one community service hour per item donated.

This is the first time Her Drive was brought to SRU. The goal is to help eliminate period poverty and help students around campus.

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