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The Mass Media

Free menstrual products in all UMass Boston restrooms: USG looking for feedback in final stages

A+restroom+located+near+UMarket+in+Motley+Hall+East%2C+where+USG+hopes+to+supply+free+menstrual+products.+Photo+by+Milanya+Gordiyenko+%2F+Mass+Media+Staff
A restroom located near UMarket in Motley Hall East, where USG hopes to supply free menstrual products. Photo by Milanya Gordiyenko / Mass Media Staff

The Undergraduate Student Government is now in its final stages of releasing free menstrual products to restrooms across UMass Boston’s campus. One of the final steps needed for this plan to move forward is student feedback to test the potential products before they get released. 

Undergraduate Student Government President Kaushar Barejiya and Vice President Kaley Whipkey both agreed, along with Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Karen Ferrer-Muñiz, that receiving feedback from students can help guide them to which type of products would be of better use to the majority of the student population. Whipkey explained the process of this plan and working alongside the chancellor of Student Affairs in a digital interview: “We have presented our proposal to the office of the vice chancellor of Student Affairs and other stakeholders involved. The administration is receptive to the plan and needs of students. Details about the total number of dispensers in the bathroom and the location of these bathrooms are yet to be decided. Kaushar and I are in routine contact with the vice chancellor and will continue to prioritize the release of these products in bathrooms.”

 “We need student feedback for these menstrual products to ensure we’re prioritizing student needs and opinions. These products will be free to use for all individuals, but we know the majority of these people will be the student body. The quality of production is important, and we want to hear from students to gather their input and likeliness to use the products,” stated Whipkey. 

Once Barejiya and Whipkey are able to gather enough feedback from students, details on how many menstrual products are to be released. “We have 50 sample bags, each containing one pad and one tampon,” said Whipkey. “We want to hear from as many students as possible, so our goal is to gather feedback from 50 individuals.”

Barejiya and Whipkey decided to send samples of menstrual products from the company Aunt Flow to UMass Boston students. This company provides organic cotton menstrual products to college campuses and other businesses across the United States. 

Claire Coder is the founder of Aunt Flow, and was motivated to create the company by experiencing every woman’s nightmare: getting their period without the proper supplies. According to Coder, from the Aunt Flow Website, “Founded in 2016, Aunt Flow is a certified WBENC women-owned company based in Columbus, Ohio. At 18 years old, I dedicated my life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide quality period products, for free, in bathrooms. Our products are made with organic cotton (no weird stuff) and we are constantly working to reduce our environmental impact! For every 10 tampons and pads we sell, we donate one to a menstruator in need. I call [it] people helping people. PERIOD.” (1).

With the help of Aunt Flow’s donation program, over 1.6 million menstrual products were donated to those in need during 2021 alone. The numbers are impressive, so it’s understandable why Barejiya and Whipkey decided to move forward with Aunt Flow for UMass Boston’s menstrual initiative. 

To receive a free sample of Aunt Flow products to test, samples are available in USG’s office on the third floor of Campus Center, room 3400. It is highly encouraged to contact the USG to report their feedback on the products, regardless of if the experience was positive or negative. Feedback can either be given in person, or through [email protected]

 

  1. Aunt Flow Website https://goauntflow.com/
About the Contributor
Samantha Beady, News Editor