Menstruation is a natural bodily process that affects about half of the Duke undergraduate population, yet it is one of the least discussed, most misunderstood and stigmatized topics. It is not uncommon for menstruating students to find themselves in need of a pad or tampon while studying in the library. Often, they are forced to interrupt their studying to go to the Lobby Shop or their room, or desperately ask someone they are comfortable with for a pad or tampon. Other universities, such as Brown and Cornell, have implemented programs to provide free menstrual hygiene products on campus for students. Following the strong examples of these institutions, Code Red, a group of students with the mission of menstrual equity, began to work towards the goal of having Duke Facilities Management provide menstrual hygiene products in the bathrooms of Perkins Library.
We believe that having menstrual products provided in Perkins will support the mental and physical wellbeing of menstruating students by alleviating some of the anxiety and stress surrounding menstruation. Condoms are provided for free across campus, but pads and tampons are only provided in the Bryan Center, a very low-traffic building. These menstrual hygiene products are not a luxury; menstruation cannot be repressed. Rather, they are a necessity, similar to toilet paper and soap, which are provided in every bathroom on campus without second thought. Therefore, last semester, Duke Progress. Period. and Duke Student Government partnered to run a pilot program, Code Red, to provide menstrual hygiene products in Perkins Library. Its aim was to demonstrate to the administration the necessity of and abundant student support for accessible menstrual hygiene products.
If you agree with this goal, please take a moment of your day to sign this petition, which will be presented to the Duke Facilities Management to show student body support for providing menstrual hygiene products on an ongoing basis in the Perkins Library bathrooms.
Hannah Ahrendt, Trinity senior, Alice Chen, Trinity senior and Alexis Onsi, Pratt junior, are part of the executive board for Progress. Period.