The University of Toronto has launched a pilot project offering free menstrual products in several washrooms at its St. George campus.
Free menstrual product dispensers have been installed in 75 female, male and gender-neutral bathrooms across seven buildings on campus. The dispensers will have both tampons and pads available at no cost.
“Access to these products is not merely an issue of convenience,” Sandy Welsh, U of T’s vice-provost, said students in a news release. “This is an issue of equity. Free access to these products helps to reduce financial barriers and alleviate the anxiety of being in need of a menstrual product when one is not available.”
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The washrooms with free dispensers are located in Robarts Library, Student Commons, Sidney Smith Hall, Goldring Centre for High-Performance Sport, Clara Benson Building, Warren Stevens Building and the Exam Centre.
There are other locations on campus where students can find free menstrual products as groups like Hart House and U of T’s Student Union had undertaken similar initiatives. Similarly, U of T Mississauga and U of T Scarborough have free menstrual product projects. Student unions at all campuses have been heavily involved in the initiatives.
The St. George campus pilot project will run for the next six months. The university will monitor the demand for the products and adjust the project accordingly.
“We hope this project contributes to the ongoing efforts to combat stigma around menstruation on our campuses,” Welsh said.