Mines should provide access to Tampons and Pads in all bathrooms
Colorado School of Mines should have access to tampons and pads in all bathrooms. Currently, the Vanguard Scholars are sponsoring tampons and pads in the bathroom, however, making sure students have period supplies should not fall on a student group. Even if the tampons and pad dispensers "are not used enough" it should not be on student organizations to supply tampons. In the bathrooms where there are no tampons and pads provided by the vanguard scholars, there are signs that recommend walking to the Ben Parker student center in order to get supplies. This must have been written by someone who does not experience periods because even walking across the street will drench students' pants in period blood if their flow is heavy, especially if it is a surprise period or at the beginning of the period. Since Mines clearly does not believe tampons and pads are a necessity as shown by their lack of providing accessible period supplies, a "free bleed month" should be started in order to raise awareness. Students that get periods that feel comfortable with it should free bleed during the school day and go about their day. This would go in line with Mines' policy of tampons and pads not being a necessity. With the free bleed, the administration can physically see the effects of not providing tampons and pads to students and that it is a public health issue. It's despicable that Mines decided to not fill tampon and pad machines and instead put the responsibility of students' health and safety onto a student organization instead of taking ownership once they discontinued the sanitary product machines. Even at a school with only 30% women, women still should be heard and supported, especially with sanitary product access. Free bleeding will show the necessity of period product access unless the school would like blood on their chairs. Additionally, a pad expires after three years and tampons don't expire for five years so the "justification" of not servicing sanitary product machines sounds more like a bad excuse. If this is truly the reason then put fewer tampons and pads in the dispenser and let people have access to tampons and pads.
I apologize for just now putting this here. Aidan and Mel a while back were able to work out a deal with facilities to provide free period products at select locations on a trial basis with both sides hoping to expand this program in the future. If you would like more specific details on the program please contact Aidan Lewis. His email can be found on our website: usg.mines.edu
Ethan Stine commented
I agree, and while they're at, Mines should also provide free lunches for all students (lunch is a basic health need) as well as free health care, free shampoo for the showers, and free gas on campus in case students run out of gas while on campus or just forget to fill up their tank before coming to school. Just kidding. In all seriousness, I can only imagine the inconvenience and stress that comes from running out of tampons or pads while at work/school. Stocking women's restrooms sounds like a great and proven way to alleviate that stress and provide aid to women who find themselves in a desperate situation. But nothing is free, and female sanitary products are far from it. The money has to come from somewhere, so I would also support a corollary mandatory student fee for sanitary products that is only applied to the accounts of students registered as biological females. Or perhaps little tampon vending machines in the bathrooms. This is an educational institution, not a government. CSM should be in the business of educating, not wealth redistribution; I don't want to, and I shouldn't have to pay for your tampons. On a different note, I can easily see this system being abused (free tampons stolen or used when not necessary, simply because the student wants to save their own money). Only way to discover that though would be a pilot program, and perhaps our campus would have enough integrity that it would be a non-issue. At any rate, life has negative consequences for those who are unprepared. Part of being an adult is taking on the responsibility of being prepared so that you can avoid the negative consequences of being unprepared. YOU have to check your gas tank and fill it up in the morning or you'll get stranded on the side of the road. YOU have to remember your lunch in the morning or you'll deal with being hungry all afternoon. That is how adult life works. Sometimes, organizations support us out of kindness or sales/PR motives or whatever. If CSM wants to set up a program to alleviate some of this stress for women on campus, then that's great, but it needs to be clear where the money is coming from, and it shouldn't come from EVERYONE unless EVERYONE has the opportunity to benefit from it. There are a lot of other expenses the school has that are also unjustified in this way, and I understand this is probably among the least of them. However, EVERY spending puts increased pressure on the total price of tuition & fees. Just because the camel already has its nose in the tent, doesn't mean it's okay to just let the whole camel in.
Thank you for your beef Marley! I can assure you and the rest of the student body that USG has been working tirelessly on this issue. This year, we have unanimously voted to approve a period products resolution that calls for facilities to provide menstrual products. It isn't the signed copy, but I have attached the resolution. Two of our senators, Aidan and Mel spearheaded this initiative and are in talks with facilities to bring this to life. If you or any other student wishes to reach out to them to further voice your concerns, you can find their emails on our website usg.mines.edu