Goedken: Menstruation is not a choice



DANI GOEDKEN, Opinion Columnist

On average people who get their period spend around $13.25 a month on menstrual products. An amenity that many people cannot afford but desperately need. Menstrual products have never and will never be a choice. No person, especially a student, should have to make a decision about if they can afford or find menstrual products. No one should ever have to prioritize anything over their health and wellbeing. UNI has shown this to be true in their supply of condoms on campus but where is the same support for people with a menstrual cycle?

Condoms are important, there is no denying that. Safe sex is an issue that needs to be addressed on many campuses, but the issue is usage not supply. There is always a plentiful number of condoms on campus. Sex is natural and normal, and the supply of condoms should be high, but sex is also a choice that you make. You decide to have sex and decide to use a condom, which is also a very cheap purchase away from campus. Menstrual products are different. They are not a choice you make. People do not wake up one day and decide to start bleeding for a couple days straight.

Organizations and volunteers outside of the health center have worked to address this issue. NISG Campus Relations committee and their members have worked hard in previous semesters to collect products through the Menstrual Product Initiative. These products were collected by free will donations across campus. After collecting them they were distributed and restocked across campus bathrooms until supplies diminished. This project was a great success. The volunteers had to restock the products twice a week in most bathrooms because the need was so abundant. It was not long before the supply was gone. This initiative presented the need for these products and illustrated just how important it is to many students.

UNI is not doing enough to support students in their health and well-being. We have seen cuts to our mental health resources, STD testing and lack of menstrual products available. It is important for all students on campus to feel safe and protected by the health center.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance finding or purchasing menstrual products, please reach out to Dani Goedken ([email protected]).