Free the tampons at Durham College

Ruby Lapointe next to dispenser at Durham College

New York is the first American city to provide free tampons in school washrooms. What has become known as the menstrual equity movement is growing. For the last couple of years there has been a growing chorus of women demanding free tampons. Since Canada removed GST tax on tampons in 2015, nothing more has happened. Not paying tax is just a start of the menstrual movement. The issue here is the fact tampons are not a “luxury” item. They are a necessity. Each dispenser at Durham College has napkins and tampons sold for 25 cents. Durham College should not only have tampon dispensers in all women’s washrooms, tampons should be free.

Toilet paper is free. Emergency items like tampons and pads should be too. Every school in NYC is working towards getting free tampons in all public washrooms.

The tampon dispensers at Durham College are stocked with Tampax brand by house keeping services, who also collect the money. The money is then put towards helping offset the cost of the tampons. The washrooms each have a dispenser but despite the attempt at convenience, the dispensers are outside of the stall and you need to be carrying around change in your pocket if you are not prepared for it. It’s the 21st century, no one carries around change. Durham College needs to provide tampons and pads. Brown University in NYC is the first school to supply free tampons and pads in public washrooms. The Undergraduate Council of Students provide the school with tampons and pads. Durham College’s Health and Wellness club would be a great way to spread the word around on how important this is to girls.

There hasn’t been a whole lot of action on this issue because it’s not something most people like to talk about. It’s one of those touchy subjects because it’s not a pleasant one. Not a lot of guys would want to talk about a girl’s menstrual cycle but it is something girls struggle with every month. However, this is not just a taboo subject, it’s also costly.

For everyone, in college there are a lot of expenses. Whether it be groceries or transit, it can get really stressful and overwhelming. It’s being recognized that tampons are not a luxury item. They are a necessity. Last year Canada got rid of tampon tax so women no longer pay GST on tampons. This is not enough.

Tampons are not a “luxury” item, they are a necessity and it’s about time schools provided them, free of charge. Free the tampon at Durham College.