Free Menstrual Product Initiative Puts the Uterus in NYU

NYU is one of several Universities to offer free tampons to its students.

Last fall, NYU’s Students for Sexual Respect and the Student Senators Council petitioned for free menstrual hygiene products on campus. The team won the university’s support, and NYU began the pilot for this program.  

The program is now in full swing, but it hasn’t been widely advertised. There are five locations on campus where students can stock up on menstrual hygiene products and five bathrooms that offer a short-term supply.

According to the SSC’s resolution, this initiative was started because SSC members resolved that free MHPs should be provided within NYU facilities considering the cost of MHPs makes it difficult for some students to cover the expense of school supplies, potentially causing discomfort in class and compromises learning.

“By making MHPs inaccessible to those who need them, NYU implicitly accepts that discriminatory barriers to education for some students, but not others, on the basis of sex are permissible,” the resolution said.

President of Students for Sexual Respect and Gallatin senior Emily Hockett said that though NYU Student Affairs was put in charge of spreading the word about this university service, the members of her club can still send out the information and push Student Affairs to create clear signage.

“Student Affairs has taken this over as student organizers are here for a limited amount of time,” Hockett said. “Custodians who refill the toilet paper and stuff like that have been trained to, in the places where the MHPs are located, restock them. And, in terms of advertising, that’s coming. I don’t know when — but that’s something that student affairs is handling.”

Hockett also said that due to a limited budget, the university was unable to make MHPs available in every single bathroom on campus. However, Hockett said that she hopes anyone who needs MHPs knows about the initiative and that they can easily access the free MHPs.    

Gallatin sophomore Mirella Torresan said that while she was aware of the campaign while it was going on last year, she never personally saw MHPs available for students in bathrooms on campus.

“I was aware that there was a campaign to get NYU to provide free menstrual products, and I think I remember hearing that it was successful,” Torresan said. “However, I’ve never seen any free menstrual products provided by NYU in bathrooms or other spaces so I wasn’t sure they provided them.”

Email Miranda Levingston at [email protected]

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