SUSU has agreed to run a trial scheme offering free menstruation products to students who cannot afford to buy them.
The initiative has been timed to coincide with the University’s Women’s Health Month in March. The free products will be available for collection from the Sabbatical Office in the SUSU building (Building 42) on Highfield Campus.
This comes after the University of Southampton Liberal Democrat Society campaigned in favour of the free provision of menstrual products earlier this year.
In a survey conducted by the society with 314 respondents:
- 312 students with University of Southampton emails agreed that the University should provide free sanitary products
- 301 agreed with the statement ‘£3 is too much for Sanitary products at the University of Southampton.’
- 194 respondents said they lived in University halls.
Olivia Reed, President of the Liberal Democrat Society, commented:
We have worked hard over the past few months campaigning for the improvement of student welfare by asking for the University of Southampton to eradicate period poverty at the University. Menstrual products are a necessity, not a luxury. They are as essential as toilet paper.
We called for the Students Union to do a trial period, for students who need menstruation products to come and pick it up for free. Distribution of free sanitary products, could easily be made an accessible and convenient way for students to collect. Distribution could occur in toilets, at the campus health centre, from student accommodation or from the Students’ Union. This scheme has already been installed in other universities such as the University of the Arts London and Newcastle University.
The Union has expressed an interest in continuing the provision of menstruation products to students that are not able to buy them after the trial period ends, but dependent on uptake.
In 2015, SUSU agreed to sell menstrual items at cost price in Union outlets after a student campaign.