Students’ Association Targets Period Poverty
Vulnerable individuals in Red Deer now have greater access to free period products, thanks to a generous donation of pads and other menstrual products from Red Deer College Students’ Association (RDCSA) on Wednesday, April 13, 2021.
For the month of March, association members collected products from the community in an effort to alleviate period poverty in Red Deer Alberta. By the end of the month, the group raised an estimated $600 worth of essential products.
“If we can make free period products the norm in our city, then we could potentially eliminate period poverty altogether here, said RDCSA’s Vice President External, Logan Beauchamp.
Accepting the donation on behalf of Turning Point, Harm Reduction Coordinator, Erika Bertin, said this is a phenomenal opportunity for clients and community members alike.
“Period poverty is real for so many within our community, whether or not society decides to acknowledge it,” said Bertin. “It may take time, but initiatives like this at least start the conversation rolling in our schools, offices, and homes.”
Through the association’s efforts, four local organizations were able to benefit from this initiative. The three largest portions of donations went to The Mustard Seed, Turning Point, and the Central Alberta Emergency Women’s Shelter (CAWES), with the smallest portion kept by the students’ association to stock RDC’s own bathrooms.
This particular initiative was inspired by the Students’ Association’s current president, Brittany Lausen, who had previously advocated that the college provide free products in all washrooms around the institution. Unfortunately, the college chose not to provide free period products to its students, so the association decided to provide them for free in our own washroom.
“Her advocacy on the issue taught me so much about period poverty, and it inspired me to take it a step further and out into the community,” said Beauchamp.
The association hopes to continue raising awareness in the college community about this issue in an effort to achieve multiple goals.
“Period poverty is real for so many within our community, whether or not society decides to acknowledge it.”
“Students leaving our campus and entering the workforce can take this knowledge with them, helping to change industries’ minds about period products,” said Beauchamp. “Also, we hope that by getting the college community informed and aware of this issue, we can better advocate once again to the college to provide free products in all of their washrooms.”
For future campaigns RDCSA hopes to team up with the United Way, which has started a campaign called “The Period Promise”, providing free products to schools across Red Deer.
“With their help, we hope to successfully advocate that RDC and the City of Red Deer sign the Period Promise and begin providing free products in all of their washrooms,” Beachamp said.
By Mitchell Danser