Student senate provides free menstrual products for UNMC students

by Vicky Cerino, UNMC strategic communications | June 09, 2022

Image with caption: From left, Benjamin McIntire, Hannah Nelson, Susan Greni and Aubree Ford were among the students who advocated for providing free menstrual products.

From left, Benjamin McIntire, Hannah Nelson, Susan Greni and Aubree Ford were among the students who advocated for providing free menstrual products.

The UNMC Student Senate now is providing free menstrual products on campus for UNMC students.

After a proposal, co-sponsored by five College of Medicine senators, was passed in March, the senators teamed up with the UNMC Department of Facilities Management and Planning to get menstrual dispensers ordered and installed. For about $2,000 a year, the student senate will provide products to more than 700 students, said medical student Susan Greni.

The effort was spearheaded by Greni, along with fellow students Aubree Ford, Benjamin McIntire, Shaker Dukkipati and Hannah Nelson. Greni said it started when the students learned about "period poverty," which refers to a lack of access to menstrual products due to financial constraints.

"We believe that this is an important project as student senate aims to improve the student experience and decrease barriers to education," Greni said. "Part of that goal is making sure all students have access to necessary hygiene products, allowing them to focus on school.

"Once we started looking into the possibility of bringing a program like this to UNMC, we were happily surprised to discover that it is less expensive than we imagined," Greni said. "Additionally, we learned that numerous student senates around the country, at institutions such as Harvard, Yale and our neighbors at University of Iowa and Iowa State, offer free menstrual products."

The program is a pilot that the student senators hope to expand in the future after gauging student feedback, and Greni said she would like to see the rest of Nebraska implement similar programs at public middle and high schools.

The collaboration on the project has been seamless, Greni said.

"The McGoogan Health Sciences Library is a focus of the program, as it is one of the main hubs for interprofessional students on campus. The staff there have been extremely supportive."

Signage near the dispensing stations will include a QR code with a survey where students can leave comments and request sites for placement of future dispensers.

Current dispenser locations and room numbers are :

  • Sorrell Center, Rooms 1047, 2011, 3012 
  • UNMC Center for Drug Discovery and Lozier Center for Pharmacy Sciences and Education, Rooms 1005, 2009
  • UNMC College of Nursing, Rooms 1006, 2006, 3014 
  • Wittson Hall, Rooms 2023, 6038, 7043, 7045 
  • Center for Healthy Living, Room 1003 
  • Durham Research Center I, first floor restroom

Comments
Dr. Sheritta Strong
June 09, 2022 at 9:21 PM

Appreciate this important work!

Jessica
June 09, 2022 at 1:51 PM

UNO offers free products as well. Way to go!

Beth Staab
June 09, 2022 at 9:30 AM

Great!!

Kacie Baum
June 09, 2022 at 8:28 AM

Awesome!

Lauren Luger
June 09, 2022 at 8:05 AM

Nice work to all of you!

Regina Idoate
June 09, 2022 at 7:01 AM

This is so awesome! Thank you Greni,, Aubree, Benjamin, Shaker, Hannah and McGoogan!!! Way to promote health equity!! I love to see this kind of love and support for our UNMC students.