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The Greyhound

The Student News Site of Loyola University Maryland

The Greyhound

Loyola University Maryland Installs Free Menstruation Products Across Campus

Nicole von Borstell

In an effort to provide access to necessary hygiene products on campus, Loyola’s Facilities’ initiative to purchase and install free menstruation product dispensers has resulted in more than a dozen “Aunt Flo” dispensers in academic buildings.

The new dispensers are located in the Humanities Center, Jenkins Hall, DeChiaro College Center, Fernandez Center, Knott Hall, Donnelly Science Center, Maryland Hall, Sellinger School of Business & Management, and Cohn Hall.

“I kept reading materials that really stressed that the menstrual products should be as normalized in bathrooms as toilet paper and paper towels,” said Shirley Pinkett, Assistant Director of Environmental Services/Facilities. “I thought, ‘don’t focus on this as some additional cost, just think about it as if you were supplying what you would normally put in the bathrooms.’”

Teonna Johnson ‘25 thinks that campus’ new dispensers are a much needed improvement for students’ well-being and access to menstrual products. 

“When I buy a package of menstrual products it’s usually $5, sometimes $10 or $11. Not everyone can afford these products or have the access to go to a store off-campus or a car,” said Johnson. “I’m not saying everyone should take all they can from the dispensers, but take what you need at the time.”

The process from initial idea to installation took about four months, and dispensers were put in place during the summer, and stocked prior to the start of Fall ‘23 semester.

Despite the new additions, there are still places on campus that have yet to have these resources available in bathrooms. Communications professor, April Newton, saw an opportunity to provide these products herself in the singular bathroom in the Communications Department.

Nicole von Borstell

“I started thinking, ‘there’s no access to sanitary products down here, so I thought that this is a little thing that I can do, and we’ll see how it goes,’” said Professor Newton. “They disappear within seven to ten days, so clearly there’s a need for it.”

Pinkett hopes to grow the initiative to provide dispensers in more academic buildings, the library, and in some of the residence halls.

“The hope is that we will be able to help out as many women who are caught off guard, who are not able to leave the building, or go back home to get the resources they need,” said Pinkett. “But they can have the resources they need within the building where they’re taking class or attending an event and proceed with their life.”

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