Through relationship building and partnerships, The Period Movement at Seton Hall and Student Government Association (SGA) have worked with student services and university facilities to bring free menstrual products and dispensers across campus, to from spring 2023.
Currently in the pilot phase, the Menstrual Product Initiative has two distributors on the Orange Sud campus, at the University Center and at the University Library. Baskets and products were also placed in halls of residence and other university buildings. A plan has been drawn up to install 21 vending machines across campus buildings in South Orange, Newark and Nutley beginning in the spring of 2023, eight months ahead of the proposed schedule. Halls of residence will continue to provide free menstrual products to community members.
Several current and former students, including Shimoli Parikh, Sophia Dinman, Evelyn Tilelli, Julia Nicolls ’22, and Jayde Dieu, have led the charge for the Free Menstrual Product Initiative.
The Period Movement at Seton Hall is a chapter of the global non-profit organization called Period., which works to eradicate period poverty and stigma through the pillars of service, education and advocacy. Ms. Dinman, a political science major who served as Policy Coordinator on Period’s Board of Directors, explains that through these pillars, “Period-SHU aims to educate the Seton Hall community about menstruation and health. reproductive, to provide [safe and accessible] products to students and community members, and advocating for menstrual equality. »
Ms. Parikh, a biology major and current period-SHU President, also shared, “We render our service through fundraising for hygiene products for women’s shelters in the communities around our campus. , like Sierra House in East Orange. We believe that menstrual products are a necessity and should be free for all menstruating women, just like any other toiletries like hand soap and toilet paper. That’s why we launched the Menstrual Products Initiative, aimed at providing free products on campus to our female students!”
When sharing her experience of partnering with the SGA and the university administration, Ms. Dinman explained, “When Period-SHU started this initiative in 2021, we didn’t expect to get free menstrual products on three campuses in the first two years of this initiative, but we are delighted with the support of the University administration. One of the first steps we took in this initiative was to raise awareness. This involved s associating with the SGA and reaching out to other student-run clubs. Ms Parikh added, “I think the whole school’s support for this initiative has really helped us achieve our goals and motivated directors to continue working on this project.
Ms. Dinman and Ms. Parikh shared their gratitude to their fellow students and community members. Sophia said: “Former SGA President Julia Nicholls (’22) and current President Jayde Dieu (sophomore, political science major) have been nothing but supportive of this initiative. They have been instrumental in assisting us in obtaining funds and navigating student government regulations.” Ms. Parikh thanked their club’s counselor, Dr. help us with communication with administrators”. Ms. Parikh also thanked Ms. Dinman and Senators Evelyn Tilelli (student, major in diplomacy and international relations) and Neha Asif (sophomore, major in political science).
When asked how the Menstrual Products Initiative contributes to a positive student experience at Seton Hall, Ms. Dinman explained, “The Menstrual Products Initiative ensures that menstruating women on campus don’t have to miss the classroom instruction, work and other important academic experiences to meet a biological need.” Ms. Parikh added, “I hope that in the future, no student will have to miss class because of his or her menstrual cycles on Seton Hall campuses.”
To learn more about the Periodic Movement at Seton Hall, students encourage members of the community to visit period.org. Students can also learn more about the Seton Hall Chapter or become a member through Engage, the CORQ app, Instagram (@period.shu), and email ([email protected]).
Emma Murphy, SGA Advisor and Deputy Director of Leadership Development, added: “The Seton Hall community can explore our organizations and their missions on the Engage platform. By browsing the ‘Organizations’ tab, all students, faculty/staff and families will see a list of our 130+ student-run clubs/organizations and their mission.”