Tampon Allies: Meet the Group With a Goal to Get Free Period Products For Utah Students

Periods. While some women might have flashbacks to cramps, count when their last cycle was or think of how grateful they are for their birth control keeping those at bay, there is one thing that all women can agree on: buying pads and tampons is an added expense. However, some people are trying to make pads and tampons available for all college women that attend the University of Utah. The Tampon Allies are an avid and petition-armed group that is fighting for free period products; Her Campus has all of the details on how you can get involved with their mission and how you can sign the petition!

Her Campus at the University of Utah: Explain why the petition has been put into place.

Tampon Allies: One of the problems impacting students on the University of Utah campus is access to feminine hygiene products. As students, we are frequently unable to afford them, or even find them on our campus. This lack of access causes many people on campus to not only be embarrassed by menstruation, but unable to fully immerse themselves in education. We believe that period products are fundamental, sanitary needs, and that the University of Utah has a responsibility to provide them.

HC: What is ‘Tampon Allies’ and how did it become a group on campus?

TA: We were registered in a course called Gender Theory and Community Organizing. One of the requirements of the course was to create an intervention that would lead to progress. After brainstorming, the 5 students in our class all named menstruating as a common burden. We wanted to make periods a little less stressful, and encourage others to be open about them. That is how Tampon Allies was born.

HC: Why do you think it’s so important for women and all genders to come together on this issue?

TA: Menstruation is an issue that impacts more than just women. Making sure there is accessibility to period products for folks who menstruate who are not women is important in helping to reduce stigma. Not only that, but even folks who don’t menstruate know someone who does menstruate. If an individual wouldn’t be directly impacted themselves by access to periods products, it would still absolutely affect at least one person they know and care about.

HC: What can college students do to get involved with Tampon Allies?

TA: What can college students do to get involved with Tampon Allies?

Stay connected with our movement on the Tampon Allies Facebook page. If funds are available and enough students express an interest, we would love to host another pop-up shop in the upcoming semester. We are still looking for ways to involve more students and expand our project, potentially even beyond campus. We look forward to seeing what the student body will ask for from this project, and hope to see new members take this project on.  https://www.facebook.com/Tampon-Allies-716731331814126/

HC: What makes you so passionate about this?

TA: For us, it is something that we are affected by or now someone who menstruates. For a lot of us who menstruate paying for period products can be difficult. There is a feeling of shame not having proper feminine hygiene products when you are on your period. We are focused on breaking down that feeling of shame and helping those who menstruate to have a healthy, safe, and comfortable period.

HC: Moving forward, what do the Tampon Allies have planned for the future?

TA: Our next step is to work with President Pershing at the University of Utah to provide students on campus with period products. On the 28th of November we submitted our proposal to President Pershing to have free period products on campus, so we are currently waiting to hear back from him.  However, we have considered holding education seminars on period products, town halls, and other events to help break down the stigma around menstruation. More student involvement is welcome and encouraged.

The founders of this project are Madi Swenson, Shaylee Tulane, Sam Riley, Alyssa McGavin and Samantha Roberts who are working effortlessly to see this project succeed! Sign the petition and let your voice be heard!

To sign the petition click this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdBG2M7L8vOJj5Y6ilnlzCdZ9stNh0mbzsM6KY2a6ukJx0Msg/viewform?c=0&w=1