TCDSU announce free period product scheme

The union also urged members to sign a petition for funding to expand the scheme

Free period products will be made available in 10 bathrooms across campus and off-campus College locations, as part of a new students’ union scheme.

The scheme will see freely available pads and tampons restocked daily by Estates & Facilities in a similar way to soap or toilet paper.

Products will be available in selected ladies’ and gender neutral bathrooms in the Arts Building, the Hamilton, the Ussher Library, the Business School, and House 6.

Off-campus locations included in the scheme are TBSI, St James’ Hospital, and the School of Nursing on D’Olier Street.

Announcing the scheme on Instagram, said: “Women, trans, and non-binary people across the island continue to struggle against barriers to equality.”

It added: “Period dignity is one of the most basic things our community can ask for. If you menstruate, you should be able to access pads and tampons when you need them so that you can go about your day.”

TCDSU also urged members to sign its petition calling on College to support an expanded version of the scheme, saying that “ten locations is not enough”.

“Period products should and can be available in every toilet for all student[s] and staff,” the statement added.

The products will be supplied by Irish brand We Are Riley, whose period products contain no harmful chemicals such as bleach or pesticides along with being biodegradable.

Speaking to Trinity News, Staunton said: “I felt it necessary to empower menstruators by offering sustainable products so that they can still be mindful of the environment, even on their period.”

Staunton expressed her gratitude to Trinity Trust for providing funding to the project.

Trinity Trust was established in 1987 and seeks to provide funding to schemes which are not financed by mainstream sources.

TCDSU have pledged that they are committed to “period dignity” saying “It is vital that every person who menstruates has access to the products they need to go about their day. Period products are not a luxury item.”

Staunton went on to emphasise “how important it is for all menstruators, staff or students, to have access to period products”.

“In striving for gender equality we must also call on College to purposely support this initiative,” she said.

“In launching this formal initiative I want to help target some of the fundamental issues, even if it is through this smaller launch,” said Staunton going on to encourage all members of the college to sign the Period Dignity petition.

This scheme launched by TCDSU follows a government announcement of a pilot initiative which will provide free period products to students in institutes of further education and the training sector, though not covering Trinity or any other higher education institute.

TCDSU went on to say that until Trinity receives public funding for menstrual products “it is vital that the College steps in to ensure that every bathroom across our campuses has a dispenser for free tampons and pads”.

Aoibhinn Clancy

Aoibhínn Clancy is the Deputy News Editor of Trinity News and is currently in her Junior Sophister Year studying History and Political Science.