Clemson Libraries is now offering free menstrual products in all Cooper Library restrooms, thanks to support from Graduate Student Government and University Facilities. The products are from Aunt Flow, a company that partners with colleges and universities to ensure that everyone has access to menstrual products for free.
A pilot program was launched in Cooper Library in the spring to assess the need for the products. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive, so the program is being implemented in all restrooms in the building, and permanent wall dispensers for the products are being installed.
“We want our facilities to be as inclusive as possible, and we want to remove any barriers that may prevent students from being able to focus, study, and be productive in the library. This allows students to stay in the library for as long as they need without disruption,” said Shamella Cromartie, associate dean for organizational performance and inclusion for Clemson Libraries. “Period poverty — the lack of access to menstrual products due to cost — is a real issue for many people, and by providing free and easy access to these products, we can make our students’ lives easier and help them be more successful here at Clemson.”
According to a study by BMC Women’s Health, 1 in 10 college students in the U.S. experience period poverty or lack access to menstrual products when they need them.
“The library is a key resource and central gathering place to support students in their academic journey,” said Jean McKendry, chair of the University’s Commission on Women. “Period poverty is an equity issue that can directly impact the student experience. We are delighted that Cooper Library has partnered with Facilities to make menstrual products available to all students and raise awareness about this issue.”
“Having a period should not preclude any person from being able to attend Clemson University comfortably,” said Kaitlyn Samons, social media and communication director of Graduate Student Government.
With more than 431,000 visitors so far in the Fall 2022 semester alone, Cooper Library is one of the busiest buildings on campus.