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August 21, 2017 | by  | in News Splash |
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Free Menstrual Products at VUW!

VUWSA is launching an initiative to provide free menstrual products to students at VUW this week.

The initiative is “an exciting step” for VUW, according to VUWSA President Rory Lenihan-Ikin.

Free pads and tampons will be available for all students from the VUWSA offices in Kelburn and Pipitea. They will also be available at the Te Aro campus library, Te Herenga Waka Marae, Pasifika Haos, Te Pūtahi Atawhai, the Bubble, and Mauri ora.

As part of the initiative, VUWSA are collaborating with social enterprise Wā Collective, which was founded by Massey University graduates, to provide $15.00 menstrual cups. They can be ordered online and picked up from the Kelburn VUWSA office.

According to a 2016 study by Wā Collective, one third of menstruating students have, at some point in their studies, skipped class due to not having access to menstrual products.

50 per cent of those surveyed also used birth control to monitor their periods, for financial reasons.

VUWSA Welfare Vice President Anya Maule told Salient that this “is a really big concern.”

In developing the project, VUWSA sought feedback from the Student Equity and Diversity Committee (SEDC) — a committee, chaired by VUWSA, which consists of representatives from Ngāi Tauira, the Pasifika Students’ Council, UniQ, CanDo, V-ISA, and VicUFO.

Maule says that VUWSA wants to create an accessible campaign which was not targeted exclusively at cis women. Rather, the menstrual products are available “for anyone who needs them.”

Feedback forms will be available at each stand, so that VUWSA can receive comments and then make decisions about the future of the initiative at the end of trimester two.

Maule told Salient that she would “love to see this as a core VUWSA service.”

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:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this