About one year ago, I composed my first column for The Temple News. I argued for Temple University faculty to offer free sanitary products to students, as they can often be an unneeded medical expense that students have to worry about.
According to a story that ran in The Temple News on Sept. 10, the Cherry Pantry — the university’s food pantry — began offering free tampons to students who need them. It feels good to see something being done about a topic I wrote so passionately about last year.
I am proud of Temple for taking this monumental step in accommodating students and working to make their experiences at the university more affordable and comfortable. Universities across the country offer sanitary products to their students, including Brown University and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, as well as public schools across New York. Adding Temple University to this list could inspire other local universities to take action or even reach out to local public schools to make sure these products are available for everyone.
Menstruation is a natural process that students often have to unnecessarily worry about. Additionally, menstruation is typically a taboo topic that often makes conversations uncomfortable. By making the commitment to ensure its students have access to sanitary products, Temple is also making the statement that menstruation is nothing to be ashamed of.
The added cost of sanitary products and the fear that comes with not having them at the right moment are things students should not have to worry about on top of classwork and extracurricular commitments.
My biggest goal in writing columns for The Temple News was to spark a change, no matter what level of change it may be. I am humbled that with other careful considerations, I was able to help spark a change at the university level to help other students.
I am also in awe of the university’s commitment to its student body and its feelings. Knowing that faculty members took the time to read the opinion section in the newspaper and have genuinely taken students’ thoughts and needs into consideration is inspiring. I applaud Temple for proving its commitment to its students.
Menstruation is a natural process that shouldn’t be added stress for students, especially those who may be financially insecure. Temple’s faculty recognized this and actively made the change to help its students. They showed how they try to remain actively involved in student affairs and that they are committed to making students’ experiences better, and for that I applaud them.
Monica Mellon is a 2018 strategic communication alumna. Mellon formerly held a lead columnist position at The Temple News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.