Pace Joins the Period Movement


An example of one of Pace's pad and tampon dispensers.

Kristin McInerney

Students at Pace Pleasantville can notice one notable addition to campus this fall semester, aside from the new trees and bushes in front of Kessel – sanitary pad and tampon dispensers located in many of the campus bathrooms.

The dispensers, which distribute sanitary pads or tampons for free when turned, are now located in all residence halls, all of the academic halls, Kessel, Goldstein Fitness Center, and some of the other buildings on campus.

However, some were left wondering why many of the dispensers seemed empty at the beginning of the year. Director of Facilities Operations Ibrahima Bagate looked into the issue, and said they have been filled now.

“We check them regularly. This initiative is new and provided at no cost for students. The dispensers were replenished twice since the 3rdof September. We are expecting another delivery next week.”

The initiative was originally implemented on the Pace New York campus. After people started asking if the dispensers could be brought to the Pleasantville campus as well, last school year Bagate spoke with Partnership of Women’s Empowerment and Respect (P.O.W.E.R.), an intersectional feminist discussion group on campus about bringing the dispensers to Pleasantville.

People on campus can notice that all bathrooms now contain these free dispensers, not just what is labeled as a women’s bathroom. Interim Director of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs and LGBTQQ Coordinator, Rachel Simon thinks this was an important inclusion.

“There are people who are gender nonconforming, transgender, or who are male identified who still have this need,” she said. “It can also be a challenge for them to buy those supplies if they’re not comfortable or have gender dysphoria, so it’s nice to skip that.”

SGA Social Justice and Unity chair and P.O.W.E.R President Natalie Hernandez thinks they’re availability is important because of their necessity.

“I think menstrual products like pads and tampons are looked at as a luxury a lot of the time, rather than something that people need for basic cleanliness,” she said. “I think most people who have had their period have been in a bind where they didn’t have a pad or tampon so the bathroom dispensers are a great thing to have-in both bathrooms!”

The move follows the lead of many other colleges and universities across the country who have added free feminine hygiene dispensers to bathrooms throughout their campuses, including Yale, Columbia, and Central Michigan University.

It also comes after New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed a law in 2018 requiring all New York state public schools provide free products.

Attention around the availability of free products has grown significantly in recent years. Groups like Free the Tampons have advocated for the cause. Others have started larger movements, like the Free Bleed Movement, suggesting that if women decide against using feminine hygiene products and free bleed like most homeless people who get their period have to, lawmakers will notice how unfair it is to make people pay for such products.