Should There Be Free Pads and Tampons in the PDS Bathrooms?


The free pads and tampons in the women’s bathroom in Shepherd Commons. (Photo: Katie Jain ’21)

Hellen Jin, Online Staff Writer

The women’s bathroom in Shepherd Commons recently welcomed a small basket filled with menstrual products, such as pads and tampons. Providing free menstrual products was an idea proposed by junior Alex Hollander to the student council, and the project was later carried on by senior Adayliah Ley, who explained her plan and goals for this project. 

 “We took it to Dr. Shah and asked her what the feasibility of the project was. We want to hopefully implement this in all of the bathrooms, and putting it in the Shepherd bathroom was a test. Although a lot of people bring their own products, I think it is important to have it just in case it is hard to get to the nurses’ office or in cases of emergency.” 

Providing free menstrual products for the students comes with great benefits. In a school environment, it is important to have an emergency back up for those who might need it. Prior to having pads and tampons provided in the bathroom, students had to go to the nurse when they needed these products, and it’s not always convenient to travel to the nurse office or ask for the products necessary, especially with such a personal emergency. Therefore, having menstrual products in the bathroom would reduce the number of students unable to easily obtain the products they need. 

Ley also mentions that in the future, they will want to put the menstrual products in the men’s bathroom as well. It’s crucial that we are all aware that not all menstruators are women. We also have to be considerate for those who might not identify with the pronouns they were assigned at birth. If we were to provide menstrual products in the women’s bathroom, then there is no reason to not provide it for the people who might need it in the men’s bathroom. 

The basket emptied out quickly, proving the validity of this project. Students are still highly encouraged to bring their own products because we want to make sure that everyone has fair access to the products. Everyone has the right to feel comfortable getting the products they need, and they should never feel burdened to do something that they don’t want to. 

Currently, only a few states in the United States require all schools to provide free menstrual products in their bathrooms. This is to ensure that every student has access to what they need as not everyone can obtain these products at home. It is PDS’s duty to do its best to create an approachable and equitable environment for all students.