TORONTO, April 16, 2018 /CNW/ - Centennial College and its student association are working together to make feminine hygiene products available at no cost in women's washrooms across the college's Toronto campuses in a new initiative called Free the Tampon.
Centennial's policy change addresses a longstanding gender equity issue: males can find everything to fulfill their basic hygienic needs in a public washroom – free toilet paper, soap, paper towels – while females are expected to pay for a hygienic product they require.
Providing free tampons and pads in campus washrooms addresses an economic need, as well. The cost of purchasing feminine hygiene products on campus can be burdensome for some students.
Initially proposed by two college staff members, the suggestion to fund free feminine hygiene products was brought forward to Centennial's senior leadership, which enthusiastically endorsed the proposal. Product dispensers that previously collected 25 cents per item now dispense freely, thanks to the college decision to pay for the products out of its facilities budget.
The Centennial College Student Association Inc. (CCSAI) also recognized the value of installing complimentary menstrual product dispensers at CCSAI-funded student centres and the Athletic and Wellness Centre at Progress Campus. The products are paid for through the association's student activity fees.
Free the Tampon is the result of considerable debate on North American campuses regarding equitable access to personal hygiene products in washrooms. Centennial is believed to be the first public college to provide the products at no cost, while a few Canadian universities began providing free sanitary products in recent years.
Canada became the first major country to stop taxing the sale of feminine hygiene products in 2015, after a petition garnered nearly 75,000 signatures. The move spurred the United Kingdom, Australia and several U.S. state governments to implement similar measures.
SOURCE Centennial College
For further information: Media contact: Mark Toljagic, Communications Officer, Centennial College, 416-289-5000 ext. 7142 mobile 416-605-6012, [email protected]