ASLMU is hosting Period Justice Week from Oct. 14 to Oct. 19, with a number of events focused on inequality relating to menstrual health, according to LMU This Week. This comes as ASLMU President Ken Cavanaugh works toward their initiative for the University to provide free period products in campus bathrooms and residence halls.
This initiative was one of the central campaign platforms for Cavanaugh and Vice President Emily Sinsky when they ran in March 2019. It builds off of a larger movement regarding equal access for menstrual hygiene products that has been spreading across the country and globe. According to The New York Times, in the last three years there have been laws passed in several states, including New York and Florida, to provide menstrual products in correctional facilities, schools and shelters.
Activists are also pushing to get rid of the sales tax on period products that currently exists in 35 states, according to The New York Times. California Gov. Gavin Newsom backed a policy in May that would repeal sales taxes on period products and diapers, according to the Sacramento Bee.
"This movement is something that has been happening on a lot of other college campuses for a number of years," said Cavanaugh. "It's about realizing that menstrual hygiene products are a basic need and should be provided just like toilet paper and paper towels."
Cavanaugh met with Facilities Management (FM) to discuss the proposal on Wednesday, Oct. 9. ASLMU plans to implement the first phase of the process over the next month, according to Cavanaugh. In this phase, ASLMU will fund period products in a few bathrooms around campus.
Martin Alvarez, the senior director of FM, said that FM offered “advice and counsel” to ASLMU and that they “look forward to the opportunity to collaborate further” on the initiative.
After implementing the first phase, ASLMU will collect data from students about how they feel about the program, and then use that data to present to other departments in order to secure funding, according to Cavanaugh. If they receive funding and the go-ahead from FM, the second phase of the initiative will include supplying period products in all bathrooms on campus.
“[FM] asked me more about the specifics of pricing and the logistics of the second phase,” said Cavanaugh. “They said they were super open to working with us over the next semester to figure out more of what a comprehensive program would look like.”
Period Justice Week started off with a screening of the Academy Award-winning documentary “Period. End of Sentence.” For the second event, students created hygiene kits for the Downtown Women’s Center. This event was co-sponsored by Marians Service Organization and the LMU Panhellenic Council. There will also be a panel discussion, a Fashion Society fashion show and a Fitwell fun run.
Learn more about the events on LMU This Week.