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Free Tampons And Pads At Brown University Encouraging For Other Schools

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Students at Brown University no longer have to worry about scrambling for feminine hygiene products when the need arises, as their bathrooms are stocked with tampons and pads – all for free.

The university’s student government body took the lead in the decision to provide the products, after a campaign arguing that feminine hygiene products are necessities and not luxuries, USA Today reports.

Viet Nguyen, president of the Undergraduate Council of Students, said,

Why aren’t these products treated the same way as other products we hand out, like toilet paper?

He reiterated that they are essentials and that Brown and other schools “should treat them as such.” Nguyen, a Brown senior studying education policy, stressed that students, especially those from low-income backgrounds, have enough to worry about in regards to funding, without having to worry about the cost of menstrual products.

Also, Brown University students can find tampons and pads in any bathroom in non-residential buildings on campus – including men’s and gender-inclusive ones. Nguyen stated that the student program wanted the products to be available in all bathrooms, regardless of gender labels, to serve everyone equally.

According to Newsweek, the student-run organization’s finance board funded the feminine hygiene products, following national pressure from students to ensure schools provide necessities. The initiative has made Brown University one of the first higher-education institutions to have such efforts implemented.

In the same manner, public schools in New York City will have free tampons and pads available in all school buildings with sixth to 12th-grade students. The program is part of the revolutionary city policy passed on July 13 that brings feminine hygiene products to public schools, homeless shelters, and correctional institutions.

Advocates are hoping that the city’s new law will set a precedent for other schools across America. Ten years ago, the Wellington School in Columbus, Ohio started giving free pads and tampons – a move still practiced today. Local elementary and middle schools in Dublin City, Ohio also do the same at a mother’s urging.

Students at the Columbia University, University of Arizona, Emory College, Reed College, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, UCLA and Grinnell College, are among the other higher-education institutions currently lobbying for free menstrual products in their own campus buildings.

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