Schriver-McGivern: Where are the Menstruation Products Again?

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Condoms — they’re great for students to stay protected when engaging in sexual intercourse and or activities. 

The Wellness Center at Rowan University provides students with free condoms every Friday, as advertised on Rowan University’s webpage and on the Wellness Center’s social media pages. 

But there are some things in life that people can’t change, or prevent, such as menstruation. But where is the advertising for that?

The average individual who menstruates, typically (but not always), follows a twenty-eight-day cycle, making the process a monthly occurrence for most people.

Menstruation is a natural process and, as someone who menstruates, I know the struggle of forgetting a pad or tampon. The realization of forgetting menstruation products is a hassle in and of itself. 

But not fully advertising where to find these products, and let alone not advertising that they are free, to the general public is much more of a problem.

Why is it that condoms are advertised on Rowan University’s webpage — reaching a large audience — and menstruation products are not? I ask myself these questions and, oftentimes, become frustrated and upset. 

Through what felt like navigating a labyrinth, I have found that Rowan University does offer free menstruation products to the public. Though, in my search, I did not find much advertising — really, none at all. If you want to call two four-by-six-inch posters in front of one bathroom advertising, then there you have it.

I was fortunate enough to speak with both the Information Booth in the Student Center and the Office of Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution (SJICR). Both providers offer free menstruation products to students who ask. SJICR has free menstruation products in their public bathrooms as well.  

It was a relief to finally know about what the university offers, in hopes that having this information would act as an aid to my fellow peers.

The double standard revealed through my findings impedes so many groups of people — myself included. 

My intention is never to degrade or disrespect any of the many, wonderful services Rowan University has to offer its students. But, as a student, I have the absolute right to voice my concern in hopes that we can make a change.

After all the navigation, I asked myself “why is it that I have to run on wheels, searching for something that should be available at a moment’s notice?” 

I am well aware that not every person who menstruates has the courage to go up and ask for a tampon or pad. It can be awkward for some students, which is why I write this article; to call out the unfairness which inhabits a system we live and breathe in. 

I simply ask for one thing: to advertise free menstruation products to a larger majority of students. Running around to find answers and placing two four-by-six posters in front of one bathroom isn’t really “advertising to the general public.”

I write this article for many reasons, but the most important reason is that my peers become aware of free and available resources provided through the school. Some might simply forget a pad or tampon, while others may not be able to afford these products.

“No student at Rowan should ever have to pay for condoms,” Brittany Auleta, a coordinator in the Office for Healthy Campus Initiatives coordinator said. 

And no student should ever have to pay for menstruation products, let alone search for them. 

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