By Ciarese De Torres
This year commemorates the third annual Women’s Healthcare Workshop hosted by the Commuters United, a commuter-led SGA organization formerly known as Road Scholars.
During this service event, both residents and commuters alike come to Gator Alley, where they can freely discuss feminine health care problems and decorate boxes called Menstruation Stations.
Once these boxes are filled with feminine hygiene products, such as tampons and sanitary napkins, members of Commuters United then distribute each menstruation station around campus.
These locations can be found in the first floor bathrooms in Gibbons, Knott Science Center, and University Academic Building as well as those in Feeley International Center, Theresa Hall and Gator Alley.
Senior Prutha Patel, the Vice President of Commuters United, originated the idea of the period drive during a family vacation in Europe.
“At our hotel in Germany, the women’s bathrooms had baskets with free menstrual products,” Patel said.
She then noticed that there was a lack of functioning tampon dispensers and pad dispensers in the bathrooms on campus.
“Unfortunately, menstrual products in the United States are not affordable. Without access to these products, many women are at serious risk of infection,” Patel said.
“If the mission of this school is to empower women, we should start with providing access to basic necessities.”
Members of Commuters United noted community reactions to the first period drive event were mostly positive.
“Our previous adviser at the time made note of how a lot of the faculty noticed the period kits and it helped spark a conversation among them with regard to the availability of menstrual products on campus,” Rose Sebastion, former secretary of Commuters United and a first year student in the Pharmacy School said.
“I’ve heard a lot of students express how nice it was not to worry about that aspect of their lives and to have it readily available has been helpful, especially in situations where we didn’t expect our periods to come.”
The period drive aims to address one of the issues commuters face on campus.
With the commuter population increasing over the years, Commuters United is working to host more events that can resolve certain commuter-related problems.
“As President of Commuters United and a representative of the commuter community, I believe that commuters need to know that they have a voice on campus and that we are their voice.” sophomore Eden Lewis said.
“We are here to listen to their grievances and communicate them to the administration of NDMU,” Lewis said. “But in order for that to happen, commuters must come together as a club more consistently so we can strengthen our bond and help make our community feel more included on campus,” she said.
Photo By Ciarese De Torres