HEROES and the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance have banded together to ask for donations of pads and tampons to make them free and accessible to anyone who may need them on campus.
The idea initially came from HEROES Graduate Advisor Emma Fredrick who messaged other officers in HEROES and members from FMLA about the idea of running a tampon and pad stock drive.
“I was actually reading the East Tennessean story on the university’s response to SGA when they requested stocking the tampon machines on campus,” Frederick said. “I was frustrated with their response, so I thought, ‘Hey! We can do something about this!’”
This is a movement that will go on until the end of the semester, and Frederick is hopeful that it will continue on in years to come.
Students, faculty and staff can bring donations to the HEROES office space in SORC A or to the Women’s Studies office as well as pick them up if needed.
A booth will be present in the atrium where FMLA will distribute pads and tampons as well.
“When we found out about the removal of pads and tampons we were obviously really upset, however HEROES was the first to respond to the issue with the donation idea,” FMLA President Emily Miles said.
“We already have a booth in the atrium once a week where we give out condoms, so the pads and tampons were an easy addition to the booth and we are really happy we can help.”
“I hope to keep it going just so anyone on campus who needs these products have access to them,” Frederick said. “I don’t know if it will force ETSU to stock the machines, but I do know that it will give people who have periods access to free products on campus when they need them, which I think is absolutely crucial.”
Frederick added that it is also important to stay away from using women/feminine language when the event is talked about due to being inclusive to everyone who has periods and feels comfortable getting these products, including some transmen, some non-binary people, etc.
“Our first goal is just to help people with the extremely common problem of not having the necessary product on hand when your period starts and to alleviate some of the strain that having a period has on your wallet,” Mile said.
“The secondary goal I think is to raise awareness about how much of an issue it can be for people to not have access to these products in an emergency and the importance of having dispensers in bathrooms.”