Community / Opinion

Dana Hall needs more and better menstrual supplies

Imagine entering a Dana Hall bathroom and seeing an organized tray filled with high-quality menstrual products ready for use. An efficient menstrual supply system in school bathrooms can make female faculty and students feel supported and comforted. Period supplies should be freely and abundantly provided in Dana Hall’s bathrooms to accommodate the needs of menstruating community members.

Dana Hall does provide menstrual supplies in the Health Center and through dispensers in bathrooms, but the current system is not consistent or complete. Not all bathrooms on campus have sanitary pads or tampon dispensers, and in those that do, dispensers are not always full or monitored. Additionally, the pads and tampons the school provides are rough, uncomfortable, and of low quality. 

Widely distributing higher-quality menstrual products will make students feel less anxious when they have their period during school. When my period started unexpectedly in the bathroom of the academic building, there was no nearby source of menstrual supplies. I had to ask my friends or walk to the Health Center. A lack of period supplies in school is stressful and distracts from classes. 

Coming from a co-ed public school, I expected Dana Hall to be more accomodating of menstruating female faculty and students. To my surprise, there were co-ed schools I visited that had more effective systems for supplying girls with menstrual products. 

Strengthening the period supply system at Dana Hall can only improve the community. The administration should contact companies that have previous experience supplying institutions with menstrual products and can make a long-term commitment to the school, such as August, Aunt Flow, LOLA, and Tampon Tribe. What are we waiting for when the answer is right in front of us?

A period is a period. Let’s not use nicknames such as “that time of the month” or “girl flu” to avoid discomfort or awkwardness. Menstruation is natural and inevitable. It does not need to be disguised. Like the growing and falling of leaves on trees, female menstruation is part of the natural cycle not decided by humans. As an all-girls school, Dana Hall should commit to eliminating the stigma around periods and can start by prioritizing the accessibility of high-quality menstrual products on campus. 

Image source: Canadian Dimension

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