In response to the first of a two-series issue in the Mainstream, UCC staff is now moving forward with plans to improve the accessibility of feminine hygiene products on campus.
The facility director is currently conducting a full evaluation to distinguish which restrooms have operable and inoperable machines to be able to provide feminine products more adequately to students, staff and faculty.
“After reading [the Mainstream] story, I think we’re going to keep the machines that operate and refresh the products that are in there, but as they fail, we’re going to remove them,” Jess Miller, facility director said.
Vandalism, theft of products and loss of money from previous years had led the custodial department to pass the responsibility of maintaining these machines over to security.
“For the most part, [dispensers] are fairly expensive to repair; we repair them and they get broken again. We haven’t looked at them in awhile is what it ultimately comes down to,” Miller said.
Miller further added that a now retired employee was previously responsible for restocking the restrooms. Once he retired, the maintenance of products began to decline.
Along with a full evaluation, Miller plans on researching the most accessible locations on campus for the dispensers.
In his defense Miller said, “I don’t have the budget to keep running around after they get vandalized, trying to repair them.”
While restrooms are being evaluated, the student bookstore has sought to improve their stock of feminine hygiene products and will inform the campus on feminine products they offer for sale and for free.
“It was brought to my attention through [the Mainstream] article that we’re out of ‘regular’ [tampons],” Micque Innman, bookstore owner, said.
Micque explains that ‘regular’ tampons sell out more quickly than other products.
“For sale we typically carry tampons in ‘regular’ and ‘super’ and we also offer pads. I’ve instructed our buyer for our convenience store items to make sure we are ordering more ‘regular’ and not as many ‘super,’” Inman added.
The student bookstore also provides a free package with several types of feminine hygiene products to anyone in need.
“Any student, employee, anybody can come in if they’re in need. If a student comes in and if we don’t have something on the floor that they need then they can ask any cashier or if they don’t want to ask a cashier they can ask for the manager and ask me,” Innman said.
The free package, from the brand Kotex, contains four items: one Kotex CleanWear Ultra Thin Regular Pad with Wings, one Kotex Barely There Pantiliner, one Kotex Sleek Tampon Regular and one Kotex Click Tampon Regular. This package is for anyone with an emergency.
Supplying products to students, staff and faculty is one priority of the bookstore.
“I think it’s critical. You try to be proactive. As females we know what our cycles are and so we try to be prepared, but there are always those times where it’s off or you’re surprised and knowing that you have a place where you can go and there is an alternative and it’s there, it’s important,” Innman said.