Tampon and pad dispensers are being installed in men’s washrooms at the University of Western Ontario as part of a student union initiative to accommodate “students who menstruate.”
On its website, the Western University Student Council (USC) claims that females, transgender and “non-binary” peoples are not the only ones who experience periods.
“Menstrual products are a necessity for a large portion of Western’s population, and students who menstruate, including but not limited to female, non-binary, and transgender students, require access to these products in order to move through daily life,” reads the USC’s website.
According to the Western Gazette, the union plans on installing 150 Aunt Flow dispensers that feature free “100 percent organic cotton, biodegradable and synthetic-free tampons and pads” in men’s, women’s and gender-neutral washrooms.
The installation of dispensers is part of the USC’s “Free the Dot” initiative, a program the union launched in partnership with its food support services that offers students free hygiene products and contraception.
Last year, Western University announced that it would give the student union $800,000 over two years for the program.
The student union expects the dispensers to all be installed by the end of the winter semester. It also says it is making a map to show which washrooms on campus feature the free tampon and pad dispensers.
Western is not the first post-secondary institution to see the installation of feminine hygiene product dispensers in men’s washrooms. The University of Toronto installed 75 dispensers at its St. George campus last year, including in men’s washrooms.
Several American Universities are also offering free tampons in male washrooms.
The latter is taking place amid a new progressive “gender-affirming” dialogue that claims that females are not the only ones who have periods.
True North asked the Western University Student Council if it had completed a cost-benefit analysis for installing the dispensers in men’s washrooms – they did not respond in time for publication. Western University’s administration also did not respond to a request for comment.