VIU to Offer Free Menstrual Products at all Campuses

Three people hold up tampon boxes

Irlanda Gonzalez Price, AVP of Student Affairs; Sean Desrochers, VIUSU’s Director of External Relations; andCole Reinbold, VIUSU Women Students’ Representative, celebrate the availability of free menstrual products at VIU campuses.

May 5, 2022 - 12:00pm

University, in partnership with VIU Students’ Union, signs on to the United Way’s Period Promise campaign.

Free menstrual products will soon be available in washrooms at all Vancouver Island University (VIU) campuses.

VIU, in partnership with the VIU Students’ Union, has signed on to the United Way’s Period Promise campaign, which raises awareness about the issue of period poverty and menstrual equity. Period poverty is defined as the lack of access to menstrual products due to financial limitations. VIU is the second post-secondary institution in BC to sign the Period Promise Policy Agreement, in which organizations commit to providing free, diverse and accessible menstrual products to employees, clients and community members.

“This is a barrier to accessing education that VIU is pleased to be able to remove,” says Irlanda Gonzalez Price, VIU Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs. “No one should have the experience of going without these necessary products while learning. I want to thank the VIU Students’ Union for bringing this important issue to our attention and partnering with us on the rollout of this initiative.”

The initiative soft-launched in fall 2021 in the library, cafeteria and gym at the Nanaimo campus. During this time, the need was clearly demonstrated.

“Menstrual inequity impacts us all,” says Cole Reinbold, VIUSU Women Students’ Representative. “It’s a relief to know that people who menstruate can now participate in our campus community with one less barrier to overcome. I’m so glad to see VIU working alongside VIUSU to freely provide these products in our facilities.”

A diverse array of menstrual products, including tampons, pads and panty liners, will be available free of charge in all women’s and gender-neutral washrooms on VIU’s campuses and facilities. The bins are currently being installed. Anyone using the washrooms will be able to access the products.

“VIUSU is thrilled to work with VIU on this effort and see the agreement signed,” says Sean Desrochers, Director of External Relations. “Everyone deserves access to menstrual products, just as they do toilet paper or other necessities. Students missing classes and having their day disrupted due to lack of access to these products is something VIUSU won’t let stand, and we’re happy the university agrees.”

Period poverty is a reality that forces many people to decide between buying menstrual products or buying necessities for their families, adds Gonzalez Price.

“For students preparing for exams or for a big interview, not having access to menstrual products can prevent them from being successful,” she says. “We wanted to make these products accessible to all that need them, when they need them, in a dignified and private manner. Not having a loonie or some change shouldn’t prevent you from accessing the products.”

-30-

Media Contact:

Jenn McGarrigle, External Communications Manager, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.619.6860 | E: Jenn.McGarrigle@viu.ca | T: @VIUNews


Tags: Community Engagement | Student Success | Announcements