So how are they going to do it?
Stand around and pull each others’ tampons out?
Californicators, of course.
The rally attracted a significant crowd, as two YWCA members spoke about the importance of the campus providing free menstrual products.
“We believe tampons and pads are not luxury items. They’re a necessity — just as important as hand soap and toilet paper,” Ollivier said. “It’s difficult to imagine a bathroom without any of those items, and it should be the same for menstrual products.”
Happy Period, a student organization that donates feminine hygiene products to homeless women, worked with YWCA to organize the rally. Happy Period president and campus senior Julie Mendoza voiced her concern about the stigma surrounding periods.
“People have reacted with disgust at the sight of an unused, unwrapped tampon,” Mendoza said.
Kevin Figueroa, a campus alumnus said he believes nonmenstruators can contribute to these efforts by being empathetic and using the privilege that he has as a man who does not have to worry about menstruating to help others.
A number of student organizations, such as the ASUC and Happy Period, have been fighting to make menstrual products readily available to women and those who are gender nonconforming. ASUC Senator Rosa Kwak initiated a pilot project that will make tampons and pads available in locations that are easily accessible to marginalized, low-income students, such as the multicultural center and the local food pantry.
“UC Berkeley is such a profound university. It’s a leader in so many aspects and has great power to set precedence on other campuses,” Kwak said. ”So hopefully if this is successful, we can inspire and help other campuses everywhere.”