MSU’s Mission Menstruation adds free menstrual products on campus

In the bathrooms, people can find clear dispensers with pads and tampons.
In the bathrooms, people can find clear dispensers with pads and tampons.
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:28 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Gaining access to free menstrual products at Michigan State University is getting a whole lot easier.

Mission Menstruation is installing free menstrual product dispensers in bathrooms across campus. You can find them in the women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms in an academic building and residence hall.

A lot of women cannot afford menstrual products. Sometimes they are forced to use toilet paper and adding free menstrual products is hoping to change that.

Nupur Huria is the lead advocate for Mission Menstruation, a student organization on Michigan State’s campus.

“Almost 95% of the survey menstruators on campus have found themselves in a menstrual emergency without having a period product available somewhere on campus,” said Huria.

Their goal is to provide free and accessible menstrual products to those in need or in a menstrual emergency.

Huria said that it is such a common misconception that period poverty is just in underdeveloped countries. “The United States, we have plenty of period poverty that needs to be addressed,” said Huria.

Mission Menstruation had 15 locations to find free products across campus since 2018. Now there are over 100 free menstrual product dispensers.

“I want to say it was because Mission Menstruation had the desk locations covered, this was just an extra push to make this more spread since we found this could be something that’s really, really beneficial to students if it weren’t just outside the free desk locations that we had,” said Huria. In the bathrooms, people can find clear dispensers with pads and tampons.

Michigan State University does provide students with menstrual products, but they cost money. Now, with Mission Menstruation you will not need a quarter or two during an emergency. You can grab and go.

It took a long time to get here. Ray Gasser with Michigan State’s Resident Education and Housing Services said that budgeting and supply chain issues caused delays in getting the dispensers installed.

“Over the course of a year, we will really find out how much this will really cost. We’re anticipating it to be a few hundred thousand dollars initially with the start-up and the initial product of stocking,” said Gasser. You can find dispenser locations around campus. On the bathroom mirror, there should be a QR code on the bottom right. You scan it and it will show you where all dispensers all available on campus.

Students can also use the MSU mobile app to find a list of where Mission Menstruation desks are located.

The money is coming from their operating budget based on the students that live on the Michigan State campus.

Gasser said Michigan State’s custodial teams will now also check and fill dispensers as part of their routine just like they do with toilet paper.

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