By Ria Paul and Regina Yohana
Humber’s student government Ignite has expanded its initiative to give out free menstrual products at all campuses. The once-paid machines for tampons and pads in women’s washrooms are now free of charge.
The initiative came to life because of support from Humber’s management.
According to Humber’s director of facilities management Spencer Wood, the student government thought that it’s not logical to offer free kits at their office but have Humber sell the products for 25 cents in the washrooms.
This initiative is a continuation of a project started in 2018 by the former Ignite Vice President Allisa Lim to fight menstruation stigmas.
The initiative has been kept on the down-low. It isn’t a secret, but not many know about it,
“Who cares,” answered Ali Baig, a global business management student, when he was asked about the change.
On the other hand, Hannah Cho, a 20-year-old accounting student, had been asking around for a sanitary pad before she went to the washroom on Wednesday evening. With no luck, she turned to her backup plan: find some quarters in her purse that she had put long ago as an emergency tool for a situation like this. But when she got there, she was welcomed by surprise.
“I always thought it was annoying to keep the change to get the menstrual products,” said Cho. “But when I saw I didn’t have to anymore, I was ready to tell everyone.”
Wood said that Ignite proposed the idea last summer. He thought that it was a great initiative and it would “make things easier” for management because they won’t have to deal with coins anymore.
When asked about why it took so long for Humber to accept the proposal, Wood said that both parties encountered some problems during the transition.
“Some of the machines were broken, we have already bought the supplies for the paid-machine and Ignite also had their own supplies, we had a hard time figuring out the money problems,” he said.
Ignite and Humber came to a deal where they’re going to split the funding for this initiative. However, Wood said that the program is still a pilot.
“We’re going to count how much money we spend on this by the end of the semester. If it’s too much, we need to have another talk with Ignite,” he said.
The long-term funding issue between the two is the reason why this program hasn’t yet been announced to the public.
“I think only a few people know about this. You would only know if you see it yourself or from someone else,” Cho said.