Students at Sheridan College are now able to find free period products in select bathrooms. The Sheridan Student Union and joni, a British Columbia-based company, have partnered together to provide free menstrual products at all three Sheridan campuses to help end period poverty in post-secondary schools.
According to Plan International Canada Inc., in 2019, 34 per cent of women and girls in Canada often had to or occasionally make budgetary sacrifices to afford menstrual products. To help bring attention to the need for free period products, Sheridan Student Union and 44 other colleges and university-run student unions advocated the need for all post-secondary schools to have access to free menstruation products campus-wide to the Government of Ontario last year.
On March 8th, the Sheridan Student Union announced their partnership with joni to supply the campuses with free organic/biodegradable pads and tampons in new wall dispensers. Lillian Masses, a social service worker student at Sheridan College says she is glad that the school is now offering free menstrual products. “I think it’s really awesome cause I know there have been times like I actually struggled in the washroom and was like oh crap there’s nothing. So it’s really nice that I know I’m not going to be stuck in that moment again,” says Masses.
According to the Sheridan Student Union, the goals behind providing free menstrual products are limiting financial distress for Sheridan students, erasing the stigma around menstruation and providing students with free and accessible period care. Allen Smith, a bachelor of illustration student says they are happy to see the school making an effort to help students who need period products. “I think it is a great change that at least the school’s campus are providing access to that [period products],” says Smith.
You will be able to find the new dispenser in both the male and female washrooms as well as the universal washrooms across the three campuses. Smith also says that they are happy to see that everyone, no matter their gender is able to access free period products. “I do think it is really good. It’s great for people who identify as women and who don’t identify as women but who have a uterus and need access to period products,” says Smith.
Along with free period products, Sheridan College also offers free latex and latex-free condoms in dispensers inside all Sheridan Student washrooms. You can find the full list of dispenser locations for free period products at each campus on the Sheridan Student Unions’ website.