In the Saint Mary’s College public bathrooms there are baskets on the counter filled with period products. This is what is known as the Period Project around campus.
Liz Baumann the Director of Student Involvement and Advocacy at Saint Mary’s College explained what the Period Project is exactly, “The Period Project has the mission of increasing access to period products while also decreasing the stigma and increasing education.”
The Period Project has a variety of goals, and many have already been accomplished. “Our initial goal has been to have free period products in at least one bathroom in every building on campus,” Baumann said.
However, the baskets on the counters are not the only way to access free period products. Baumann further explained, “In addition to that, we have full boxes of products in the Mother Pauline Pantry, so if students need more than just one product they can access that for free as well.”
Increasing education about periods is another important goal for the Period Project. “On the other side of things, we have created programming to increase education and decrease the stigma,” Baumann said.
The Student Body President Angela Martinez Camacho explains how the Student Government Association is involved with the Period Project, “Liz Baumann and Christin Kloski, both leaders of the Period Project, reached out to SGA and asked for partnership and sponsorship alongside hosting the period party.”
In addition to hosting fun events like the period party, there will also be more education-focused events. “Throughout the year we’ll have additional events, bringing in experts in the field to talk about periods and menstrual cycles and related issues,” Baumann said.
The Period Project has been helpful for many students across campus. Martinez Camacho expressed how she found the Period Project helpful, “Number one, I’ve heard quite a few stories of how students on campus were in moments of ‘oh my gosh I need a pad, tampon etcetera’ and the baskets from the Period Project have helped them in those moments.”
Baumann discussed why she thinks the Period Project is important for the Saint Mary’s community. “I think it’s important for everyone to have access to these products but especially in a space that is primarily women, primarily menstruators.”
One of the main things about the Period Project is how you can easily access these products. “Through administration and student government, we can help to make someone else’s life a little bit easier. I think that’s the overall goal,” Martinez Camacho emphasized.
However, the Period Project is still continuing to grow across campus. Bauman addresses different ways for the Period Project to keep growing, “Right now we are running only on donations. And we know that those can run out. So creating space in the Saint Mary’s budget to fund a project like the Period Project, I think is really important.”
The Saint Mary’s Period Project gets a variety of donations. “There are some alumnae that found out about the project and wanted to donate so that’s really exciting. All our funders are listed on the website; so I urge people to go there and see who they can thank,” Baumann said.
Martinez Camacho conveys the message to always take period products if you ever need one. “We will always make sure that we give students, faculty, and staff accessibility to what we are promoting, and what we are giving to you all. So take it when you need it.”
Baumann expressed her thoughts about periods, “I guess just the final thought is periods aren’t weird, periods aren’t gross, periods are normal and we should be able to talk about them openly. and that includes providing products openly.”