The catalyst for the project began when two female students approached BSD leadership with the idea of replacing the traditional coin-operated vending machines with complimentary tampons and pads. “It prompted us to question and think about how we have historically dispensed menstrual products across campus,” said BSD Director, Gene Woodard. “The students that brought this issue to our attention enlightened us to an opportunity for our department to better serve the female population on campus,” said Woodard.
In order for the program to grow and remain sustainable, conscious consumerism—or only taking what is needed—is key. Signage is posted outside of restroom entrances indicating which locations are included in the pilot, with additional signs on individual dispensers. Expansion of the dispenser installs will depend on the results of the pilot. Currently, 17 restrooms offer tampons and pads within clear plastic dispensers in the following buildings:
- Art, room 107A
- Dempsey, first floor
- Mary Gates, rooms 162 and 252
- Miller, room 118A
- Music, room 118
- Odegaard, rooms 140 and 212
- Paccar, rooms 182, 282 and 382
- Physics-Astronomy, room AM010E
- Raitt, room 130
- Savery, room 165
- Smith, room 110
- South Allen, room G086J
- Suzzallo, room 117A
As per the signage, Facilities Services Care Team will receive patron feedback and suggestions on behalf of BSD. “I am so excited to see how this turns out!” said Manager of the FS Care Team, Jennifer Conners.