The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Op-Ed: A Menstrual Equity Open Letter to the administration and student body: Phase Two

Eighteen months ago, Lafayette for Reproductive Autonomy, Justice and Empowerment (L-RAJE) founder and former vice president of Student Government Thalia Charles ‘22 introduced the Menstrual Equity Project to the Lafayette community in the form of the Menstrual Equity Open Letter. The demands of this letter were to implement free, sustainable menstrual products in all Lafayette College campus buildings by the end of the 2023-2024 academic year. 

To recap, the Student Government took immediate action by implementing the Menstrual Equity Pilot Program, installing 18 Aunt Flo Model E dispensers to heal the period poverty on campus, and we are grateful to them for doing their part to alleviate period poverty and support menstrual equity on campus. 

In the last year however, we have heard feedback from you, the student body, that the dispensers from the Menstrual Equity Project are not being refilled regularly and often remain empty for weeks or months at a time. Additionally, no new dispensers have been installed since the Pilot Program. 

This summer, L-RAJE began meeting with President Nicole Hurd’s office, Facilities Operations and Student Government to resolve the issues with restocking and work towards new dispensers in the remaining buildings through Menstrual Equity Project Phase 2. In this phase of the project, we aimed to:

  1. Relieve Student Government of the financial load of the project to allow their funding to go toward new student initiatives
  2. Get 15 new dispensers installed in 15 buildings across campus
  3. Create a map available to students with live data from the dispensers to make access to full dispenser locations more convenient. 

This week, the Office of the President confirmed that it is going to take on the financial load of Phase 2. We will be getting 15 new Aunt Flo Model E tampon and pad dispensers in the following buildings: Kirby Hall of Civil Rights, Hogg Hall, Markle Hall, Scott Hall, Weinstein Natatorium, Kirby Sports Center, South College, Ruef Hall, Rubin Hall, Kamine Hall, Conway House, Marquis Hall, Soles Hall, Marquis Dining Hall and Gilbert’s Cafe. Dispensers will be installed in gender-neutral bathrooms where available.

This is not the end of the Menstrual Equity Project. We are currently working with the President’s Office and Facilities Operations to establish a timeline for the installment and restocking of the existing dispensers. Additionally, we will be working with the new VP of Student Life to find long-term financial support for menstrual equity on campus. In the spring semester, we plan to implement Phase 3 of the Project. This means that we, as the student body, must continue to hold the Lafayette administration and all relevant bodies accountable to the goals outlined by the Menstrual Equity Open Letter in perpetuity. 

We welcome student feedback on the existing dispensers and on Phase 2 via email ([email protected], [email protected]) and are open to any ideas on ways to continue promoting menstrual equity on campus and throughout the Lehigh Valley.

In Power,

Lafayette for Reproductive Autonomy, Justice and Empowerment

Signatories: Alpha Phi Omega, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Phi, Ambassadors of Lafayette, Arts Society, Chi Phi, Delta Gamma, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Lafayette College Library, Lafayette EMS, Lafayette Ski & Board, LIMS, Office of Residence Life, OUT Lafayette, PASA, Phi Kappa Psi, Pi Beta Phi, SASA, The Women’s Network, Unnamed ZINE, Women in Law, Women in Econ, Zeta Psi

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