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Video Recording


College Students Combat Period Poverty: Free Access to Menstruation Products


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Abstract/ Summary

Even though it costs around $10.00 a month for basic supplies for menstruation there are about 42 million menstruators that suffer from period poverty. This is the umbrella term for the inequalities related to menstruation. The emotional stress from period poverty is traumatizing due to unexpectedly starting menstruating in public without supplies (Smith, 2020). According to a recent article, individuals “who reported experiencing period poverty every month, 68% also reported symptoms consistent with moderate or severe depression, … which linked the trend with similar ties between food insecurity and mental health” (Srikanth, 2021, p. 1). Others say they feel isolated to their homes unable to leave for work, school or civic life (Smith, 2020). This project examined how the University of Maine at Machias (UMM) could provide free menstrual products to students, and how this would impact these effects on their students. A majority of UMM students receive financial aid for their tuition. Many of these menstruators could be affected by period poverty. Almost 20% of all individuals in Washington County live below the poverty level (U.S. Census, 2020). Details of proposing free access to campus administrators will be presented and these include: online research, interviews with period product organizations, and interviews and group discussions with Student Senate at UMM and Student Life at University of Maine (UM) and UMM. From this investigation, it was found that the costs would be negligible for UMM to provide free access even after accounting for maintenance and facility workers.



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